Monday, February 16, 2009

Dear Kansas Legislature,

Please pay me on Friday. I have been a good and dependable employee for many years. I come to work, I do my job, and I don't abuse my sick leave. So why are you threatening not to pay me?

I don't really care about your squabble with the Governor. I get that you want her to sign your budget reduction bill, but why should my paycheck hang in the balance? I do not appreciate your withholding my paycheck and using it as some form of extortion against the Governor. Whether she signs or vetoes your bill, you still owe me my money. It just doesn't seem like refusing to pay 42,000 state employees is much of a way to get people on your side.

I'm a fairly responsible person. I don't live paycheck to paycheck. I have a savings account, an IRA in addition to my state retirement account, and a deferred compensation account. I can survive if I don't get paid this Friday. I can probably even make it if I miss the paycheck after that. After that, it will get hairy. I do not deserve for things to get hairy. I have done my job; I deserve to get paid.

You have the money, you just have to move it from one account to the other. You claim you won't unless the Governor signs your stupid bill. You are being big, mean bullies. I don't care whether your bill passes or not, I want the money you owe me.

Stop playing chicken with my life. Pay your damn employees.

Thank you.

13 comments:

One Girl's Opinion said...

I just saw this ... I hope they get this figured out.

Meryl said...

Yup.

Erin said...

Oh, our lovely legislature . . .

mikeb302000 said...

Good luck I hope they sort it out. I agree it's terribly unfair to use state employee pay checks as a bargaining chip.

S said...

I can't really believ they'll actually pull the trigger on not paying us all. I hope I'm not naive or overly optimistic.

Erin, you don't have to claim them anymore...

Heather said...

Speaking as one of the 42,000 State employees who may not get their paychecks on Friday because of these idiots, I only have two words for the Republican leadership: Political Suicide.

I'm torn. On the one hand, I'm so angry that I would really like the Gov to go tell these idiots to 'eff off. But on the other hand, I have bills to pay...

S said...

I agree, Heather. I'm seriously pissed off at the lege for this. And yet, I am dutifully headed off to work right now.

Anonymous said...

Despite your disregard for my opinions, I am truly distressed by your unfortunate economic situation and believe that Governor Sibelius will shortly resolve this situation. As I understand it the situation in California is even more dire.

S said...

At the risk of being too wordy, I'd say the lack of regard for opinions is mutual between us. But thank you for the well-wishes. And I am glad I do not work for the state of California. At least we will eventually get paid. Those CA workers will just get furloughed or laid-off.

One Girl's Opinion said...

I really just don't understand how the whole thing is being laid at the legislatures door. I mean, the Governor knew what they wanted back in December and refused to meet them in the middle. That budget is weeks and weeks over due. It seems like a mess all the way around.

Meryl said...

It's a lot to explain in just a blog comment, but, in general, there were efforts by the Governor to reach some sort of compromise. At this point she hasn't even said that she won't sign their budget, she didn't even have it to look at until noon today.

But there are issues she *can't* compromise on. As a quick example, there was a huge school finance lawsuit a few years ago where the Kansas Supreme Court said that, constitutionally, Kansas schools have to be funded at a certain level. Cutting schools drastically (as the Repubs in the legislature are advocating) will only provoke another lawsuit.

And it is the Republicans that have put employee paychecks at issue. As one blogger that I read today said, it's like saying, "Share your food with me or I'll kick that puppy over there." They're trying to make the two things related when they're really not.

I'm with Sarah and Heather--I want to get paid, but I will be saddened if Sebelius just completely gives in to this.

One Girl's Opinion said...

I dunno, but two years ago ya'll had a budget surplus of $1B. And now you're $200M in the red? That sounds like somebody went a little crazy with the spending, and both sides are probably to blame.

This sort of crap drives me crazy. You have X amount of $ coming in. You have Y amount of $ going out. If Y is bigger than X you have two options ... add more $ to X or take $ from Y.

Either way, as state employees and residents, the money they get will come from you. Either from a budget cut or from raised taxes (sounds like the bill she got at noon is taking $ from Y).

I would vote against every standing / sitting member in your legislature, because instead of putting surplus money into a rainy day fund, they squandered it. And now they blame the economy.

S said...

The reason I blame the legislature for this week's fiasco is that the money had to be transferred to cover payroll. Period. It had nothing to do with the budget bill. Even after passage of the bill, the money still has to be transferred to cover payroll this Friday. But the legislature decided to issue an ultimatum and say they wouldn't do the transfer unless the governor signed the bill. I am solely angry at them because they are the ones that tried to use my paycheck as a political tool.

As for the former budget surplus, I'm sorry, but I'm pretty tempted to blame that one on our Republican-dominated legislature as well. They eliminated a tax a few years ago that was a major source of revenue. I'm pretty sure that was over the governor's veto. (Details, Heather?) Over the past 20 years or so, they have cut or eliminated every tax they could find. At some point, if all you do is eliminate revenue, you're going to wind up flat broke. There's only so much the governor can do to counter that given the majorities the Reps hold in both houses.

In December, the governor and accountants told the council they needed so much money in the certificate of indebtedness. The council cut it in half. The accountants said that would just mean we'd be back here in February, and they were clearly right.

The governor did have a proposed budget bill ready for the beginning of this legislative session. As far as I can tell, the Republicans in the legislature didn't even pretend to work with that proposal. Nor have they seriously attempted to work with the other side since then. They think since they have such big majorities in both houses, they don't have to compromise. Well, fine, but she doesn't just have to bend over, either.

I wish I could vote some of these bums out, but my particular rep is someone I really like and who I think does a great job, so I kinda want to keep him.

 
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