With only hours remaining before furloughs started, Kansas lawmakers approved a bill that prevents state workers from being taken off the job. Governor Sam Brownback has signed the bill into law and says all state employees should report to work as usual.
While financial pressures still exist in state government, the bill deems all state employees “essential” and exempt from being furloughed. That designation only lasts through the end of the legislative session.
Furloughs would have started Sunday unless lawmakers came to agreement on a state budget. There were still large divisions between legislators, so they opted to instead pass the measure temporarily preventing furloughs.
Republican Vicki Schmidt is a state senator from Topeka.
"It’s the right thing for state employees, and it’s the right thing, quite frankly, for the state of Kansas to get this off of our plate. We can continue working on the budget and taxes,” says Schmidt.
There are still deadlines in place. Lawmakers need to approve a budget by the end of month so state employees can get their paycheck on time in early July.