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Kansas House Bill Overhauls Civil Service System

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A Kansas House committee has advanced a bill that would overhaul the state's civil service system.

The bill would change some types of positions so they would not be covered by civil service protections. It would also give new state employee hires an "unclassified" status, meaning they would not have civil service protection.

An attorney for the American Federation of Teachers last week said the change could lead to hiring and firing employees based on their politics.

The chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Newton Republican Marc Rhoades, calls the claim that quality employees get fired employees get fired for their political beliefs shallow.

“I don’t think that happens as much people think it might,” says Rhoades.

Some positions would be exempt from the change. Rhoades says the move would allow department heads more flexibility in managing resources, and give them the ability to reward innovation or good performance.

The bill will now go before the full Kansas House.

As the Kansas News Service managing editor, I help our statewide team of reporters find the important issues and breaking news that impact people statewide. We refine our daily stories to illustrate the issues and events that affect the health, well-being and economic stability of the people of Kansas. Email me at skoranda@kcur.org.
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