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Bill in Kansas House targets Civil Service Act

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- A Kansas House committee is working on a bill that would be the first phase of a plan to do away with civil service protections for state employees.

The House Appropriations Commission is drafting the bill, which would allow state agencies to hire unclassified workers for more jobs.

State agencies currently must hire classified employees for nearly all positions. Classified employees are protected under the Kansas Civil Service Act from being hired, fired or demoted based on several factors, such as race, religion or disability. Unclassified employees can be hired and fired at will.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports (http://bit.ly/WYQ1L6 ) supporters contend phasing out the civil service protections would give state agencies more flexibility in hiring.

Opponents say state law already provides ways to move employees from classified to unclassified status.