Governor Kelly Says Pay Increases Essential to Attracting, Retaining State Employee Workforce

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today sent a letter to state employees thanking them for their service to the State of Kansas and advising them they will be receiving a pay increase beginning with today’s paycheck. Governor Kelly signed these pay increases into law in May to improve pay rates for state employees whose compensation is below the market rate. 

“This past spring, I called on the Kansas Legislature to provide pay increases for all state employees to put their compensation on track with the market rate,” Governor Laura Kelly wrote. “I saw this investment as absolutely essential to recruiting and retaining the workers who go above and beyond every day to improve the lives of their fellow Kansans.” 

This increased pay will help recruit, retain, and recognize the work of employees who deliver public safety, infrastructure projects, mental health resources, education, and services to businesses and families across the state.  

Kansas Organization of State Employees (KOSE) was instrumental in helping Governor Kelly get these pay increases across the finish line. The organization met with legislators to advocate for state employees and demonstrate the importance of this investment. 

“These pay increases will make state workers and the communities they serve safer,” said Sarah LaFrenz, president of KOSE. “Our frontline workers make real sacrifices on behalf of Kansas citizens every day. We were and remain proud to work with Governor Kelly on this pay proposal to ensure that these sacrifices are properly recognized, and our state workers get the reinforcements they need through increased employee recruitment and retention efforts. States around the nation are facing critical staffing shortages. In Kansas, Governor Kelly is showing real leadership in making essential investments in our state workforce to ensure Kansans receive the services they expect and deserve.”  

In addition to the pay increase, Governor Kelly highlighted that the State Health Employee Benefits Plan (SHEBP) had been stabilized for the fifth consecutive year. This means that since 2019, state employee contributions have either decreased or stayed flat – compared to the previous eight years, where employees paid increased rates, which led to lower take-home pay. 

Read the letter here.