Governor signs new budget to increase funding for mental health, law enforcement and education in Kansas


TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – The governor of Kansas has signed a new budget for fiscal years 2022 and 2023 that includes increases in funding for mental health, law enforcement, education and health services in the State.

On Wednesday, April 20, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly said she had signed the state budget, House Substitute for Substitute for Senate Bill 267, for fiscal years 2022 and 2023.

Governor Kelly said the budget passed with overwhelming bipartisan support and allows Kansas to continue economic growth through targeted investments in basic services, higher education and workforce development. .

“This budget delivers on the promises I made when I was first elected, including investing in our economic development tools, funding higher education, ending the irresponsible practice of stealing our road fund, and much more,” said Kelly. “Kansas is stronger than it was four years ago, and as a result, we can confidently make critical investments in our state while eliminating the state food tax to help Kansans have more room in their own family budget.”

Kelly noted that the budget is closing the Bank of KDOT and ending extraordinary transfers from the State Highway Fund and restoring full funding to the State Water Plan for the first time since 2008.

The governor said the budget also makes a historic $500 million deposit to the state’s fiscal stabilization fund. She said it was the largest fiscal stabilization fund investment in Kansas history. She also said that left a balance more than five times greater than the state’s rainy day fund had ever been.

Kelly said the budget also restores funding for higher education with one-time investment in need-based aid, deferred maintenance and workforce development through funding for community and technical colleges. . It also offers $3 million scholarships to prospective teachers who attend Kansas universities and commit to teaching in the Sunflower State after graduation.

The budget also provides $85 million in funding for agricultural innovation, health sciences and economic development through the University of Kansas, Kansas State University and the Wichita State University. An additional $95 million has been set aside for Higher Education Workforce Development Grants with a private matching requirement, which includes $10 million for community colleges, technology colleges and the University of Washburn, as well as $10 million for private and independent colleges. The Community College program will also receive $28.5 million in matching funds for facility upgrades.

The Governor noted that the budget increases state funding for housing by $65 million over 2 years. She said the funding is dedicated to the development and renovation of moderate-income housing and the creation of a state revolving loan program to meet labor needs and fill funding gaps. in rural communities.

Kelly said the budget includes significant pay increases for Kansas Highway Patrol and Kansas Bureau of Investigation officers and employees. It also reimburses volunteer and part-time fire departments for PPE, bunkers and wildfire-fighting equipment. There is also a stipulation that includes a one-time capital investment in state infrastructure for mental health, corrections, law enforcement and the National Guard. The funding also includes safety vests, facility upgrades, equipment, body cameras and additional security for law enforcement and those working in secure state facilities.

The Governor said the budget increases coverage for postpartum mothers from 60 days to 12 months after birth and funds the Mother and Child Home Visiting Program. She said she approved of additional improvements for emergency medical services, adult dental services, cancer screening, pediatric primary care and newborn screening.

Kelly said the budget continues to fund state employees who work in facilities 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including state hospitals for mental health and developmental disabilities, facilities correctional facilities and homes for veterans. She said it also includes increased funding for several home and community services, including care provided for mental health, skilled nursing, frail and elderly Kansans and those living in nursing homes, and the Kansas with intellectual and developmental disabilities. An increase in the assistive services cap has also been included, which will help empower those who need assistive technology.

Also in the area of ​​mental health, Kelly said the budget focuses additional resources on behavioral crisis stabilization services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, staffing of psychiatric residential treatment facilities, diversion public hospitals through community crisis intervention centers and suicide prevention. It also addresses the assessment of state skills and the restoration backlog.

Kelly noted that the budget includes increased funds for the office of the Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs to improve and expand services for veterans. It also makes significant improvements to the facilities at the School for the Deaf and the School for the Blind.

The governor also said the budget continues to fund grants and prevention services for families first, which includes funding recruitment and retention incentives for child placement agencies. She said it also restores full funding for state evidence-based juvenile justice prevention and rehabilitation programs and increases state grant funding to local judicial districts for corrections grants. community. It funds new geriatrics and substance abuse programs at Lansing and Winfield correctional facilities.

Finally, Kelly said the budget increases funding for meat and poultry inspections, water programs and the Agriculture Department’s animal facility inspection program. She said he was making an $80 million one-time payment on state water storage contracts with the Army Corps of Engineers and protecting remedies for future generations.

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