Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is proposing a 1.5 percent pay raise for classified state employees. It's one of the budget amendments he's suggesting for next fiscal year.
Interim Budget Director Jon Hummell told the Senate's budget committee that the Republican governor has always wanted a smaller, better-paid state workforce.
"The state workforce has been through quite a bit of change over the last three years," says Hummell. "We've reorganized a lot of departments, we've eliminated agencies, we did the voluntary buyout. We certainly have fewer people doing as much, if not more, work."
Sen. Laura Kelly, of Topeka, is the top Democrat on the Senate's budget committee.
She is greeting the proposal with a degree of skepticism.
"I am glad about the employee increase, it might suggest that it's an election year," said Kelly.
Hummell says that if the proposal is approved, it would be the first time all classified state employees have received a raise in several years.