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Kansas Senate Adds State Employee Raises to Budget Plan

The top three members of the committee during a meeting last week. From left to right are Republican Rick Billinger, Republican Carolyn McGinn and Democrat Laura Kelly. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

Most state employees in Kansas would receive about a 2 percent raise under a budget plan to be considered by the Kansas Senate. The Ways and Means Committee started work Monday on a spending plan for the next two fiscal years. They're battling a budget shortfall, but the committee voted to shift money around to provide the worker raises.

Republican Chairwoman Carolyn McGinn proposed taking money targeted for court employee raises and using it to give all employees a smaller pay raise. McGinn says it’s been almost a decade since there have been across-the-board raises for state workers.
 
“Keep in mind, the judiciary, they are state employees. They’re not getting totally left out," says McGinn. "That would start next year, which would be the tenth anniversary of them not having a pay raise."
 
Court system officials had requested $20 million for larger raises because they say court employees are paid significantly below market rates.

The across-the-board pay hikes would not include the Highway Patrol, because McGinn says troopers received raises recently.
 

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