Don't Drink the Tea. Think With the WE.
Feb
2013
14

JOB SECURIT-ME: Kansas GOPer Introduces Bill to Guarantee Politicians Get Their Jobs Back After Their Term

Greg Smith seeks enhanced job security...for himself.


Things are getting crazy for Republicans (‚Ķmore like their constituents) in the Midwest. Kansas has been under seige in the labor arena, to be sure, but arguably the most odd and offensive bill yet has been proposed by Kansas¬†State Sen. Greg Smith. This pseudo jobs bill is loosely based on a law that protects military workers. The catch? It’s intended to protect politicians.

Smith’s bill would require employers to take back those who left their positions to become elected officials. What’s more, it would mandate the same position and pay rate:

State Sen. Greg Smith (R-Overland Park) has introduced legislation that would require employers to allow state legislators to take indefinite unpaid leaves of absence during the annual state legislative session and guarantee them a job when they return to work. The state attorney general would provide legal representation to legislators who sue employers for violations.

“Kansas has a citizen legislature and if we want to truly keep it that way, we have to broaden the pool of people who can serve,” Smith told The Huffington Post.

Smith has found many objectors including Topeka Councilman Chad Manspeaker (D) who also works for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 304. Manspeaker noted that Smith has favored paycheck deception legislation which strips certain (read: union) public employees of their rights:

“How can you strip the rights of public employees and protect the right of your own job?” Manspeaker said.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley (D-Topeka) called the bill “about as self-serving a bill as I have ever seen.”

The Hutchinson News Editorial Board printed a scathing critique of the bill…

There’s something laughably ironic about an employment rights bill that offers protection only to lawmakers – all while those same lawmakers are actively working to undermine anything that resembles rights and protections for the common Kansas worker.

One must wonder what the all-powerful and chronically anti-worker Kansas Chamber thinks of such legislation – particularly since its president, former Speaker Mike O’Neal, is a prime example of how former legislators tend to fare well when looking for a new career.

…while KansasCity.com raised the level of Smith’s lunacy to clinical heights:

Smith appears to have caught a touch of “capitolitis.” That’s an ailment which causes loss of perspective and may make lawmakers think they are more important than others regard them. Let’s hope he is able to recover.

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