Opinion Columns & Blogs

Pushback on state personnel changes may do no good

The Wichita Eagle

New plans by the Brownback administration to overhaul state employee personnel policies received pushback recently from legislators on a regulatory advisory committee, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported. But the administration doesn’t have to heed those concerns – or the feedback it receives at a public hearing Tuesday in Topeka – because it has authority to implement the changes regardless of objections. The proposed changes would alter policies on employee layoffs and rehiring and annual performance ratings. Sen. Vicki Schmidt, R-Topeka, who chairs the advisory committee, complained that the administration “did not seek input from any of the employees or employee organizations regarding these drastic changes.” Rebecca Proctor, executive director of the Kansas Organization of State Employees, accused the administration of making hiring decisions based on political connections instead of merit. “We see a lot of favoritism, unfortunately, in the agencies today,” she said. – Phillip Brownlee