Burroughs Accuses House Republican Leadership of Political Grandstanding
Democrats renew call for hearing on anti-furlough bill

Topeka, KS: Friday morning House Republicans sent an open letter to Senate Republicans in which they implored the Senate “to pass the conference committee report on the state budget without delay to prevent state government furloughs.”

House Democratic Leader Tom Burroughs criticized the move. “This is too little, too late,” Burroughs said. “Members of the House Democratic Caucus introduced a bill on Wednesday morning to prevent the shutdown of state government and the furlough of state workers.

“If House Republican Leadership were really concerned about the furlough of state employees, they would insist that House Appropriations Chair, Rep. Ron Ryckman, call a meeting of the House Appropriations Committee to hear the bill drafted by Democrats.”

Burroughs pointed to comments House Speaker Ray Merrick made late last year attacking state employees as evidence that Republicans are feigning concern for state employees. “Government employees produce nothing. They’re a net consumer,” Merrick said.

“It’s time Republicans in the House, Senate, and Governor’s Office stop using state employees as political pawns in the budget debate,” Burroughs stated. “While I agree with House Republicans, ‘there is not time to waste,’” Burroughs said. “What I disagree with is that the only option is for the Senate to pass a budget. If House Republicans really cared about state workers, the House could take action today to prevent the government shutdown.”

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