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Gov. Kelly signs omnibus budget, increases funding for services

FILE - (AP Photo/John Hanna File)
FILE - (AP Photo/John Hanna File)(KWCH)
Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 3:03 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Governor Laura Kelly has signed the Omnibus budget, increasing funding for disability services, criminal justice services, mental health services and higher education.

Governor Laura Kelly says she signed Senate Bill 159 on Friday, the state omnibus budget for FY 2021 and FY 2022, which passed with bipartisan support.

“I’m proud of this bipartisan, fiscally responsible budget that demonstrates what lawmakers can get done when we work together,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “This budget includes increased funding for disability services, the criminal justice system, mental health services, and higher education. These critical services will help provide Kansans, businesses, and local governments with the support and tools they need to continue powering our COVID-19 recovery.”

According to Gov. Kelly, the omnibus budget increases the Protected Income Limit for Home and Community Based Services waivers and the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly to 300% of the Federal Poverty Level. She said the increase gives Kansans that use waiver services more flexibility to earn income and use more money to pay for essential needs like rent and food.

Gov. Kelly said the bill added $3 million for the 988 Crisis Hotline, increased funding for public and private colleges, increased salary and operations funding for the Kansas Judicial Branch and funding to advance innovative mental health treatment.

According to the Kansas Governor, SB 159 added $3.6 million to the Board of Indigents’ Defense Services in order to fund the assigned counsel rate increase up to $100 per hour for FY 2022, which provides a boost to public defenders in a historically underfunded system.

Lastly, Gov. Kelly said the bill restored $259,000 for the Commission on Veterans Affairs to allow staff to reinstate visiting veterans in the communities where they live. She said this will help veterans in rural areas and allow the VA to offer full services to veterans as it meets them at home.

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