Kansas Liberty: 30 December 2008
Ferris Beuller has nothing on Kansas bureaucrats
Did Sebelius' paid day off cost taxpayers more than $9 million?
When Gov. Kathleen Sebelius declared last Friday a state holiday, giving all state employees a paid day off from work, it's a gift that may have cost Kansas taxpayers more than $9 million.
Sebelius Spokesperson Nicole Corcoran told Kansas Liberty that Sebelius and previous governors have given an additional vacation day, based on when the holiday lands in the week.
In a November letter to state employees, Sebelius told state workers that "the State of Kansas will be short $211 million in the current fiscal year. The projection for 2010 is even more dire," and said "to protect our children’s education and the most vulnerable Kansans, we must work together to make strategic cuts which safe guard those critical efforts."
The governor then explained her reasoning for giving the day off.
“I have not and will not lose sight of the value of your service to Kansans, and the benefit of your work to your family,” Sebelius said in the letter. “To show my appreciation for the hard work you do throughout the year, I am declaring Friday, December 26, 2008 a legal holiday for employees of the State of Kansas.”
Corcoran said the additional day off is deemed budget neutral.
Kansas currently has 41,924 state employees, and the total salary and fringe pay for Kansas employees in fiscal year 2008 was almost $2.5 billion. Based on a broad estimate of wages paid between July 1, 2007, and June 30, 2008, it costs the state about $95.8 million per pay period to pay state employee wages with a pay period lasting about 10 days long.
Simple math would suggest the cost to taxpayers of the day off was $9.58 million.
Gavin Young, spokesperson for the Kansas Department of Administration, said there was “no true cost” to the state of Kansas when the governor declares a holiday, however.
“Agencies still operate within their current budgets and past experience shows they make no adjustments when such a holiday is declared,” Young told Kansas Liberty. “This is similar to when a holiday equivalent is declared due to inclement weather.”
- Holly Smith
Previously on Kansas Liberty:
"Sebelius: State's broke, so take a day off - with pay": http://www.kansasliberty.com/liberty-update-archive/29dec2008/sebelius-states-broke-so-take-a-day-off/