Department of Administration

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Some Kansas lawmakers are criticizing new state worker regulations proposed by Gov. Sam Brownback. His administration wants to change how state agencies determine who gets laid off first.

The proposal would also give agencies discretion to protect certain employees. But critics say these changes would reduce the value of experience and make layoffs more subjective. Democratic state Rep. Jim Ward calls the changes an attack on state employees.

Jim McClean / Heartland Health Monitor

The chairman of a Senate committee abruptly canceled a hearing today on a bill that would have changed the agency responsible for distributing school funding.

The bill would have moved the authority to distribute education money from the Department of Education to the Department of Administration, which is one of the governor’s cabinet agencies.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas lawmakers have voted to limit Gov. Sam Brownback’s authority to demolish the Docking office building in downtown Topeka and build a new utility plant for state offices.

Plans have been in the works to demo or rehab the Docking facility. The bill says any new moves would require legislative approval.

That comes after the governor entered a $20 million agreement for a new utility plant without the consent of lawmakers. He’s since decided to back out of the plan.

Stephen Koranda

A Kansas Senate committee has advanced the nomination of Sarah Shipman to head the Department of Administration. However, committee members had some pointed questions about a $20 million deal to build a new utility plant in Topeka for state office buildings.

Democratic Sen. Laura Kelly says approving the deal without lawmaker consent has created a lack of trust between legislators and the agency. Shipman, who’s currently the acting secretary, says she’s working to restore that trust.

Brownback Names Secretary Of Administration

Jul 15, 2013

Gov. Sam Brownback has appointed a former utility executive to be the new secretary of the Department of Administration.