Gov. Kelly signs state budget, approves $65M for Kansas coronavirus response

A fiscal year 2020 budget for millage rates was proposed at Tuesday's Panama City Commission meeting. (MGN)

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has signed Senate Bill 66, the state’s budget bill for Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021. She issued no line item vetoes.

“I appreciate the bipartisan work of lawmakers to approve a budget swiftly in the midst of an unprecedented global public health pandemic,” said Kelly. “I particularly commend legislators for approving $65 million to help support our coronavirus response efforts in Kansas.”

While Kelly applauded legislators’ work, she warned against adding any unnecessary new spending when the Legislature returns for its annual wrap up session in April. After excluding coronavirus-related expenditures, the Kansas Legislature spent over $100 million more from the State General Fund than Kelly initially recommended in January, with another $100 million in potential enhancements delayed until the omnibus budget.

“Practically overnight, the coronavirus pandemic caused upheaval in the stock market, shuttered businesses, disrupted supply chains, and cast uncertainty on our economic future,” Kelly said. “We’ve never experienced anything this sudden and severe in our lifetimes. It is critical that we act with utmost caution until we get a better sense of what the true budget implications of coronavirus will be.”