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Topeka Gov. Sam Brownback has proposed a 1.5 percent pay raise for classified state employees, but his fellow Republicans are systematically removing it from agency budgets.
On Monday, state Rep. Jerry Henry, of Atchison, the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, asked what is going on.
"The governor felt there is a need, so the agencies must have felt there was a need," Henry said.
Appropriations Chairman Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, said legislators will debate in a "global" sense whether to allocate funds for a pay raise instead of for each specific agency. He said that debate will occur later in the legislative session.
Rhoades said the pay raise wasn't included in the two-year budget approved last year.
"It's an additional spend," Rhoades said. "We are going to continue to strive to keep government small. Some of you like to spend money. I don't like to spend money," he said.
Classified employees haven't received a pay raise in five years.
Last week, Republicans on the Senate budget-writing committee also removed the proposed pay raise for state employees.
State Sen. Jim Denning, R-Overland Park, said the proposal needed more study.