Passage of new Omnibus Budget cements state employee pay bump

Infrastructure projects, mental health services and more to also benefit
13 News at Six
Published: May. 15, 2023 at 1:45 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - With the passage of the new Omnibus Budget, state employees will see a pay bump while infrastructure projects and mental health services for students receive more support.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced on Monday, May 15, that she signed Senate Bill 25 - the Omnibus Budget - which was passed with bipartisan support. The budget will increase funds for higher education, invests in local infrastructure, expands mental health resources for students and will increase pay for state workers.

“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,” Gov. 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.”

Kelly indicated that the new state employee salaries will improve pay rates for employees who earn below the market rate for similar jobs in the Kansas private sector. The move will help recruit, retain and recognize the work of employees who have a hand in public safety, infrastructure projects, mental health resources, education and more.

The Governor said the bill will also provide the Build Kansas Matching Grant Fund to allow a mechanism for state matching dollars to be provided to communities for approved projects. The funds will enable communities to move forward with projects that include improvements to water, transportation, energy, cybersecurity and high-speed internet. Part of this fund will also be used to provide resources and technical aid to those who seek access to federal funds.

Kelly also noted that the bill will provide $13.5 million to the Mental Health Intervention Pilot which will expand access to behavioral health services for students. The money will add to a total of $46 million invested in the pilot as it has already reached nearly 5,000 students in about 70 school districts.

Lastly, the Governor said the budget includes funds for services for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities - including funds for an early childhood program for children with blindness or visual impairment. It also increases funds for Senior Nutrition and expands the program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly to additional counties.

Kelly noted that she also line-item vetoed parts of the bill, which can be found HERE. The move included the veto of a proposed historical site.

“It’s unfortunate the Kelly/Toland administration has put politics before protecting this historical site that’s so important to the African American community in Kansas City. Preserving the archeological integrity and educational importance of the Quindaro Ruins should be a bi-partisan priority and excluded from the wrath of political punishments,” said Speaker Dan Hawkins (R-Wichita).

To read the full bill, click HERE.