TOPEKA (KSNT) – Kansas Governor Laura Kelly approved the bipartisan Omnibus Budget on Monday which is set to invest state dollars in several key areas.
The signing of Senate Bill 25 by Kelly will accomplish several things, according to the Office of the Governor.
- Increase pay for state employees
- Promote STEM workforce training opportunities
- Support local infrastructure projects
- Expand mental health resources for students.
- Invest in services for elderly and disabled Kansans
“I am proud of this bipartisan, fiscally responsible budget that will bolster our state’s workforce, improve roads and expand high-speed internet, and provide essential mental health resources for our students,” Kelly said. “This funding will support my administration’s efforts to continue growing the economy and making every Kansas community an attractive place to live and raise a family.”
Increase pay for state employees
The budget includes salary increases to improve pay rates for state employees who are earning below the market rate for similar jobs in the private sector in the Sunflower State, according to the Officer of the Governor. The bump in pay will help to recruit, retain and recognize the work of employees who deliver public safety, infrastructure projects, mental health resources, education and sercices to businesses and families in Kansas.
Promotion of STEM workforce training opportunities
New investments in STEM aim to expand opportunities for students training in emerging technologies, science, engineering, math, science and technical trades, according to the Office of the Governor. Programs like these are seen as instrumental by Kelly in expanding the state’s workforce and economy.
Support for local infrastructure projects
The Build Kansas Matching Grant Fund will provide a way to provide state matching dollars to Kansas communities for projects approved under the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation (BIL), according to the Office of the Governor. These funds will give Kansas communities the chance to move forward with infrastructure projects like improving water, transportation, energy, cybersecurity and high-speed internet. Some of these dollars will also be used by the Kansas Infrastructure Hub to provide resources and technical assistance to communities seeking to access BIL funding.
Expansion of mental health resources for students
The budget includes $13.5 million to be invested in the Mental Health Intervention Pilot to expand access to behavioral health services for students, according to the Office of the Governor. Kelly’s administration has so far invested more than $46 million in this pilot program, allowing its services to reach 5,000 students and nearly 70 school districts annually.
Investments in services for elderly and disabled Kansans
The budget also has funds available for services for children with intellectual disabilities and funds for an early childhood program for children with blindness or visual impairments. This also increases funding for Senior Nutrition (Meals on Wheels) and expands the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly to more counties.
Kelly also provided the following message on other items related to the bill: