For Kansas senate leadership, state jobs most important

Over the past year, private sector employment in Kansas declined by 1.9%. At the same time, public sector employment — these are government employees at all levels — increased by 1.9%. (Indicators of the Kansas Economy)

Considering state employees, there were 41,609 FE (full-time equivalent) employees in fiscal year 2008. The estimate for FY 2009, from the Governor’s Budget Report is 41,808, an increase of just less than one-half of one percent. But it’s still an increase, at a time when businesses across the state are shedding jobs to meet challenging economic conditions.

In the Kansas Senate, there was a proposal yesterday to reduce state spending by an amount necessary to balance the Kansas budget. Instead, the measure passed doesn’t balance the budget unless “revenue adjustments” are made. These adjustments, which mean higher taxes on business, will have the effect of reducing private sector employment in Kansas. Government jobs, however, will be preserved.

That’s not a wise move for Kansas — increasing the size of government at the expense of business.

Many Kansas Senate Republicans recognize this and voted accordingly yesterday. But there are three in particular who didn’t. These three — Senate President Stephen Morris, , Vice President John Vratl, and Majority Leader Derek Schmidt — unfortunately, and inexplicably, hold the senate’s top leadership positions.

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