Opinion Columns & Blogs

Stagnant pay makes it hard to attract state employees

Stagnant pay contributed to a 16 percent drop in the number of Kansas state troopers over the past six years, which has led to sharp declines in drunken-driving arrests and speeding tickets, The Eagle reported this week. Other recent news stories have reported difficulty filling jobs at state prisons because of low pay, and a shortage of game wardens in Kansas due in part to “a stagnant pay system that hasn’t provided a significant salary increase in more than 10 years.” Many other state employees also have gone years without raises. Yet some lawmakers think that a 4 percent funding cut to state agencies, as Gov. Sam Brownback proposes, is no big deal. – Phillip Brownlee