Legislators Considering State Employee Pay Raises Amid Budget Shortfall

Kansas legislators are advancing a proposal to give most state employees a two-percent pay raise even as lawmakers wrestle with serious budget problems that could force a significant tax increase.

The state Senate Ways and Means Committee voted Monday to include the raise in its proposed spending blueprint for the fiscal year beginning in July.

The committee opted for the broad pay increase instead of larger raises for judges and other workers in the court system. Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Lawton Nuss urged lawmakers to boost their pay in his State of the Judiciary address last week.

Most state government workers have not seen a pay increase for almost a decade, but the state also faces projected budget shortfalls totaling more than $1 billion through June 2019.