TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration said he won’t propose furloughs or layoffs of state workers in his January budget proposal.
Brownback spokeswoman Melika Willoughby said the Republican governor intends to propose a budget that will make layoffs and furloughs unnecessary. The state is facing a $350 million budget shortfall, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal.
Republican Sen. Carolyn McGinn said Brownback should make immediate spending reductions to avoid more cuts later in the fiscal year.
“It’s disappointing he’s not doing anything,” she said. “The problem, of course, is the longer you wait to react, the more difficult and deeper the cuts will be.”
The Brownback administration has already been bracing for deep cuts in future years. Earlier this year, the administration asked agencies to come up with plans for how they will cut 5 percent from their budgets. The newspaper reported that plans obtained for several agencies showed reduced spending that would compromise public safety and weaken the state National Guard’s capacity to provide a “ready and reliable force.”
Kansas Organization of State Employees director Rebecca Proctor said the potential for layoffs or furloughs concerns the group. Proctor said the state must notify the union 30 or 45 days in advance if it intends to furlough or lay off classified workers represented by KOSE.
Brownback’s administration moved earlier this year to alter policies for state employee layoffs, rehiring and performance evaluations, but some of the proposed changes were shelved after feedback. The budget shortfall could grow if monthly revenue intake falls below projections.
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