In her state of the state address, Governor Kathleen Sebelius called for 70 new highway patrol troopers on the roads as a matter of homeland security.
But now, the governor has come up with a deal that would cut the number of new troopers from 70 to 35, to give current troopers a 25% raise over the next three years.
As treasurer for the Troopers' Association, it's Master Trooper Jeff Dietz's job to write checks.
But now, thanks to a proposal from the governor, Dietz and fellow troopers will be getting bigger paychecks from the state.
Master Trooper Jeff Dietz says, "It's going to help in recruiting and retaining people to stay on the job, essentially it's going to provide a better safety environment for travelers."
Governor Sebelius originally recommended putting 70 new troopers on Kansas highways. But Trooper Dietz says finding 70 qualified people would be difficult under the current pay scale.
Master Trooper Dietz says, "We used to have 1500 applicants for 30 positions and now we have 230 for 30 positions."
While the quantity of troopers may not be as many as the governor had planned on, troopers say more money on the table improves the quality of troopers on the road.
Kansas Highway Patrol Sgt. Gary Warner says, "The patrol has lagged behind in pay so it's hindered our ability to recruit the very best applicants for the position of trooper."
And with more and better qualified troopers on the roads, that can only mean safer Kansas roads.
The current contract proposal is with Troopers' Association members now, they're supposed to return the ballots by mid-March.