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Kansas House to Debate Plan to Avoid State Employee Furloughs

Rep. Ron Ryckman, House Appropriations Committee chairman, speaking to reporters earlier this year. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

A committee in the Kansas House has advanced a bill that could prevent state employee furloughs. Thousands of “non-essential” state workers will be taken off the job without pay starting Sunday if lawmakers haven’t finished work on the budget.

The bill approved by the committee late Friday night would temporarily deem all state workers “essential” so they would be exempt from furloughs. Republican Representative Ron Ryckman chairs the House Appropriations Committee.

“There’s a lot of things moving. This session has been about certainty, this is another step of providing certainty for our state and especially for our state workers,” says Ryckman.

Republican leaders in the House say they’ll debate the bill Saturday morning. It would also need to pass the Senate.

Saturday is the 107th day of the legislative session, meaning this year is tied with 2002 for the longest session in Kansas state history.

Lawmakers have yet to finalize work on a budget and a tax plan to fund the budget. This bill would give legislators another option for avoiding employee furloughs if they can’t reach a budget agreement.


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