‘Axing Your Taxes’ takes forefront of Gov.’s 2024 budget plan
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has released the fiscal year 2024 budget plan with the intention of providing tax relief to families, funding schools, and more.
According to Governor Laura Kelly’s office, one aspect of Governor Kelly’s plan features the “Axing Your Taxes” plan. The office said the plan includes a proposal to completely axe the state sales tax on groceries, diapers, and feminine hygiene products by April 1, 2023.
Another proposal in the plan also states the addition of a four-day back-to-school sales tax holiday, and one more proposition to increase the exemption on Social Security income tax.
“Let’s pass tax cuts that we can afford and help working families and seniors – while allowing us to continue the progress we’ve made on education,” said Governor Kelly.
Governor Kelly’s office said that the governor’s budget plan also includes steps to fully fund K-12 schools, while also investing approximately $110 million in higher education, so schools can expand financial aid and ensure that schools can keep their low tuition costs or keep them from increasing tuition.
“The special education funding gap impacts every student because schools end up diverting funds away from other areas to provide these services,” said Governor Kelly. “I fully recognize that Congress hasn’t done its part to deliver the federal funding it promised for special education services, and I’ll continue to work with our congressional delegation to push the federal government to hold up its end of the bargain. But in the meantime, Kansas families need solutions.”
Kelly’s office said that other matters stated in the budget include:
- Adding $500 million to the “Rainy Day Fund,” which will raise the balance to $1.5 million.
- Adding $220 million to the state “Infrastructure Leveraging Fund,” while keeping the “Bank of KDOT” closed for another year. The governor’s office says that Kelly implemented this so that Kansas communities can have the state and local agencies match funds needed to obtain federal funding for transportation, broadband, and water infrastructure upgrades.
- Paying off the remaining $53 million in reservoir debts at Milford and Perry Lakes. According to Kelly’s office, the budget also pays for the state’s share of the proposed new veterans home.
- Funding for the new Office of Registered Apprenticeship to invest in the internship program.
- Investing over $5 million with the intention of repairing Kansas’ foster care system. Kelly said the investment will be used to increase the placement rates in foster homes and support foster kids transitioning to adulthood.
- Kelly’s office said that over $12 million from the budget plan will be directed to the KanCare program to expand mental and physical healthcare. In an effort to enhance the ability to secure providers, expand the network capacity, and hopefully, eliminate disparities for KanCare recipients.
- The governor’s office also said that the state should receive an estimated $370-$450 million in additional federal funding over the next two years to expand Medicaid, which is said to cover Kansas’ share of expansion for eight years.
- Increase the state employee pay by 5% as a way to recruit and retain state workers, while also maintaining the Career Progression Plan that was implemented in 2022′s budget plan for Kansas Highway Patrol officers.
- Other investments in the budget include investing in housing and childcare, IT infrastructure, and cybersecurity. The governor’s office said the budget includes providing $20 million to the Housing Revolving Loan Program the expand the housing stock in Kansas.
The Kansas GOP released a statement after Governor Kelly announced her budget plans saying:
“Governor Kelly’s proposed budget would continue to grow government at an unsustainable rate, just as economists continue to expect a recession,” said Senator Ty Masterson. “The past teaches us the lesson that today’s large surplus can be tomorrow’s fiscal cliff. With many Kansans living paycheck to paycheck, we must remember we are appropriating their money, especially with economic forecasts being so uncertain. That’s why Republicans are committed to a better way – which means adopting a fiscally responsible budget that eliminates wasteful spending, pays down debt, and saves for a rainy day.”
Click HERE to view the Governor’s budget report.
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