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Poor timing on House GOP bonuses

moneyfalling11No offense to the Kansas House GOP staff, which no doubt works hard for its money, but what were the chamber's GOP leaders thinking in doling out four- and five-figure bonuses in the midst of a state budget crisis? As the Lawrence Journal-World reported this week, four top staffers for House Speaker Mike O'Neal of Hutchinson, House Majority Leader Ray Merrick of Stilwell and House Speaker Pro Tem Arlen Siegfried of Olathe each received one-time payments ranging from $2,308 to $20,000 shortly before the current session opened in January, on top of salaries ranging from $48,000 to $90,000 a year. Note that these strategic bonuses were made as O'Neal and other GOP leaders were sternly calling on then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to make across-the-board budget cuts.