Opinion Columns & Blogs

New civil service law consequential, overlooked

The Wichita Eagle

One of the more consequential bills approved this legislative session didn’t receive a lot of media attention. Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill into law Thursday that weakens the civil service system for state workers. New employees won’t be covered by the civil service system, and more than 30 state agencies will be allowed to convert vacant positions to non-civil service jobs, Associated Press reported. Current employees who voluntarily transfer or are voluntarily promoted could be changed to unclassified status. Supporters say the change will provide more flexibility in state government. Critics say it will introduce more politics. “It takes Kansas back to the dark ages when hiring state workers was a patronage system,” said Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka. – Phillip Brownlee