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Gubernatorial lesson in value of words

Gov. Mark Parkinson stirred concerns when he said recently that the long-term solvency of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System is such an issue that "everything has to be looked at" — including possible changes to current benefits for retirees. Parkinson later regretted his words, writing on his blog: "Because I said that we would consider changes for people that are already in the system, I may have scared tens of thousands of retirees who are already receiving benefits, and even more current state employees who are counting on this fund for their future. I said it, but it's not what I meant. What I should have said — and meant to say — is that we don't want to cut any benefits and we are analyzing all our options."He attributed that and "other mistakes that day" to the four hours of sleep he'd had the night before because of "some pet issues" at 3:30 a.m. "I'll try to not let that happen again," he wrote.

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