Brownback Promotes Revised Budget

By: Greg Palmer
By: Greg Palmer

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Gov. Sam Brownback is proposing minor funding changes in the current fiscal year, including restoration of salary cuts for state university employees imposed last year by Kansas legislators.

Details of the $6 billion budget are being shared Thursday with members of the House and Senate budget committees.

Interim budget director Jon Hummell describes the increases for higher education, veterans and public schools as targeted expenditures. They include a plan to fund all-day kindergarten at $16 million, restore more than $5 million in university salary cuts and give state classified employees a 1.5 percent wage increase.

Today Governor Brownback proposed revisions to the two year budget the Legislature passed last session. Gov. Brownback said that, “Due to the growing economy in Kansas, we are now able to make targeted and reasonable investments in key areas of our state,” said Governor Brownback.

The FY 2014 revised budget is $30.7 million or 0.5% more than budget passed by the 2013 Legislature. It includes:

$17.8 million to maintain base state aid per pupil at the current level
$11.7 million for health and human services caseloads
$9.3 million for the Career and Technical Education Initiative
$5.2 million to restore the Regents salary cap cuts

The FY 2015 revised budget is $429.8 million higher than the budget passed by the 2013 Legislature. It includes

$362.9 million for the Department of Corrections
$20 million to maintain base state aid per pupil at the current level
$16.3 million for all-day Kindergarten
$15.3 million for the Career and Technical Education Initiative
$5.2 million for a 1.5% salary increase for classified state employees

Administration representative said the revisions to the FY 2014 and FY 2015 reflect the Governor’s promise to maintain the state’s essential programs, while targeting key areas for additional investment.

Included in this proposal is an increase to maintain the current funding level of the school finance formula. It also includes the cost to phase in all-day kindergarten, which guarantees every Kansas child has access to kindergarten. The Governor’s technical education initiative added money to continue providing this education to all students wanting to access the opportunity.

During the 2013 session, the Legislature passed a budget which reduced the appropriation for the Kansas Department of Corrections in FY 2015. The Governor’s proposal restores the $362.9 million budget.

Governor Brownback has also proposed a 1.5% salary increase for classified state employees. These employees have not had a salary increase since 2009.

The Brownback budget is available online: CLICK HERE


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