Kansas Governor seeks to use cash reserves to pay off debt

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KANSAS LEGISLATURE OSAWATOMIE STATE HOSPITAL_172422

Kansas Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka, tells the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services Secretary Tim Keck that it’s evident to everyone that the Osawatomie State Hospital needs more staff right now during a hearing Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016 at the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. (Chris Neal/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly proposed that Kansas burn through more than half of its cash reserves to pay off some debt early.

She released the proposed budget on Thursday, which would do that while taking longer to close a long-term funding gap for the state pension system for teachers and government workers.

Kelly’s budget director, Larry Campbell, outlined her spending blueprint during a joint meeting of the House and Senate budget committees. He called it a “plan to restore fiscal responsibility.”

Her spending plan anticipates expanding Kansas’ Medicaid program at a cost of $35 million a year to the state. 

The Governor’s full budget recommendation can be viewed here.

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