A Kansas House committee has advanced a bill that would overhaul the state’s civil service system. The bill would change some types of positions so they would not be covered by civil service protections. It would also give new state employee hires an "unclassified" status, meaning they would not have civil service protection. An attorney for the American Federation of Teachers last week said the change could lead to hiring and firing employees based on their politics. But the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Newton Republican Marc Rhoades, calls that claim “a little ridiculous.”
Some positions would be exempt from the change. Rhoades says the move would allow department heads more flexibility in managing resources, and give them the ability to reward innovation or good performance. The bill will now go before the full Kansas House.