TOPEKA — Kansas Lawyer Basic Kris Kobach plans to request Friday restoration of $650,000 reduce from the workplace’s funds two years in the past and approval of a $375,000 enhance to rent attorneys to deal with crimes associated to unauthorized sports activities playing.
Kobach, a Republican sworn into workplace in January, mentioned he would suggest the Home Basic Authorities Price range Committee make use of a portion of the state’s income surplus to rescind the ten% across-the-board discount applied by Gov. Laura Kelly in July 2021.
He mentioned the legal professional common’s workplace skilled problem retaining and recruiting attorneys because of erosion of wage competitiveness with county prosecutor workplaces and personal legislation companies. Twenty-three of the 33 unfilled positions within the Kansas legal professional common’s workplace had been designated for legal professionals. In different phrases, he mentioned, one-third of 65 full-time equal legal professional positions in his workplace weren’t crammed.
Up to now yr, Kobach mentioned, the felony division misplaced seven prosecutors and was working with solely three. His workplace was compelled to restrict the divison’s scope of instances to murders and essentially the most critical baby intercourse offenses. Up to now six months, the legal professional common’s workplace turned down greater than 20 instances.
“That’s hurting the state,” Kobach mentioned. “I’m not in any manner blaming the earlier legal professional geneal for this. The legal professional common can not clear up this drawback alone. It’s a systemic drawback that may take each the Legislature and the legal professional common working collectively to unravel it.”
Kobach changed Derek Schmidt because the state’s prime legislation enforcement officer. Schmidt was an unsuccessful GOP candidate for governor in 2022.
Kobach mentioned the beginning wage for a prosecutor within the legal professional common’s workplace in Kansas begins at about $80,000. Listed below are over-the-border beginning salaries for assistant attorneys common: Colorado, $176,000; Oklahoma, $112,000; and Missouri, $105,000. A brand new, not-yet-licensed legal professional may settle for a place at a big Kansas Metropolis legislation agency for a wage of $180,000, he mentioned.
“Missouri and Kansas are in direct competitors for a similar pool of expertise,” Kobach mentioned. “If we’re not capable of even come near their beginning salaries, this workplace will proceed to be understaffed.”
The $375,000 in Kobach funds attraction would go to the workplace’s fraud and abuse litigation division. It could assist hiring of 4 attorneys to deal with investigation and prosecution of felony offenses associated to legalized sports activities wagering in Kansas.