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Archive for Monday, May 9, 2011

Statehouse Live: Kansas Senate committee approves bill to stop legislative pay if session goes into OT

May 9, 2011, 1:58 p.m. Updated May 9, 2011, 2:46 p.m.

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— As budget negotiations between the House and Senate stalled, a Senate committee on Monday recommended approval of a bill that would stop pay to legislators after Thursday.

Thursday is the last day of the 90-days scheduled for the 2011 session. If legislators go into overtime, they wouldn't be paid for work or receive their expenses after the 90th day, under the proposal.

"If we are still here, we will be working for free," said state Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick, and chair of Ways and Means Committee.

Legislators make $88.66 per day during the session and $123 per day for expenses. Legislative leaders make more.

House Speaker Mike O'Neal, R-Hutchinson, said the proposal was "window dressing" because it couldn't be implemented in time. O'Neal said if the Legislature goes beyond Thursday, he would urge legislators to voluntarily give up their pay.

But during the Ways and Means Committee meeting, legislative staff members said the legislative administration department could hold paychecks if it appeared the bill was going to become law.

McGinn, the lead budget negotiator for the Senate, expressed frustration earlier with House budget negotiators at a short meeting.

House Republican leaders want more budget cuts to produce a larger ending balance in the budget.

"The ending balance is important to us," said state Rep. Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, who is chair of the House Appropriations Committee.

But senators have rejected some of those proposed House cuts.

The two sides were scheduled to meet later in the day.

Meanwhile, Ways and Means approved another budget plan that includes some of the areas of agreement between the House and Senate.

McGinn said the bill could be used as an alternative if the House-Senate conference committee makes no progress.

"I think this is a plan we all can go home with, knowing we made significant spending cuts without jeopardizing our state's long-term economic recovery,"McGinn said.

Comments

tolawdjk 3 years, 7 months ago

How about they pay back a day's wages for every day they are in overtime.

If a contractor doesn't finish his bidded job on time and on budget, no one discusses if they should get or not get extra pay. They start paying penalties.

If it is taking them extra days to do what they were paid for, it only goes to prove that we were paying them for working when they obviously weren't.

Fred Mertz 3 years, 7 months ago

Perhpas you're right in some circles, but not under the dome. Haven't you read about the time and cost overruns for fixing up the Capital? No penalties, just mo' money thrown at the contractor and no state firings for allowing it to happen.

volunteer 3 years, 7 months ago

Yes, but still earning that "annualized" retirement this newspaper reminded us about a few weeks ago.

3 years, 7 months ago

I like the idea of "pay back a day's wages for every day they are in overtime".

Keith 3 years, 7 months ago

As useless as they are, they need to pay us every day they ARE in session.

Steve Jacob 3 years, 7 months ago

Has Brownback signed any kind of budget measures? I mean his party has the majority on everything, how hard can a balance budget be? Raise taxes or cut spending, you had months to decide.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 7 months ago

I'm sure it feels good to express that thought-free sentiment, but I bet you'd be one of the loudest squealers at the endless inconveniences that would result if it really happened. And that would just be the first few weeks. Shortly after that, the economy and social functioning would grind to a halt. But maybe that's what you really want.

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