We've arrived into a new year, a new decade, and a new Legislative session! It's time for everyone to start their New Year's resolutions, whether it be going to the gym, eating healthier, or trying to stop bad habits. Everyone has something they want to work on. Our goal for the state of Kansas is going to be the same. With the first week of session having wrapped up there were a number of significant things that occurred.
The Governor's Budget Imbalance
Gov. Laura Kelly revealed her budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year for the State. With a released budget of $7.85 billion, the Gov. plans to use money originally dedicated to the State's pension plan to continue funding K-12 education, which follows the Supreme Courts mandate. The budget also allows room for possible funding of a planned medicaid expansion bill, that sits with the Senate - a bill that allows your tax dollars to pay for abortions and illegal aliens.
Much of the budget is currently being payed for with promised State pension money. Diverting money that was promised to State employees to fund more State debt.
With Gov. Kelly's budget plan, we continue to see a pattern of kicking the State's financial woes down the road. The state cannot continue to avoid a massive financial issue. Eventually the State will have to face the disastrous fiscal issues it continues to ignore at the hands of this administration.
State of the State
Governor Laura Kelly gave her State of the State address earlier in the week. She addressed significant bills that were passed in the previous legislative session as well as her budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year for the State of Kansas.
Speaker Ron Ryckman gave a response to governor Kelly's address. Comparing the Governor's budget plan to a child putting a band-aid on a cut. Saying Kansas has gotten too old for simple temporary fiscal fixes and it should look at legitimate solutions to the State's money issues.
Value Them Both Constitutional Amendment
The Value Them Both Amendment is a "proposed constitutional amendment in response to the Kansas Supreme Court's 2019 overreaching ruling." For anyone unaware, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled last year that abortion was a right guaranteed by the State's Constitution.
The Value Them Both amendment overturns this ruling and protects the lives of both Kansas mothers and Kansas children. The amendment allows the people of Kansas the power to regulate the abortion industry and help prevent any loss of life amongst our great State's children.
The amendment will be introduced and heard by committees on Tuesday, January 21. Once the amendment has passed a two-thirds majority in both the House and the Senate it will be put up to a ballot for the people of Kansas to decide.
Once again the governor shines the spotlight on herself announcing plans to combine three difference agencies into one, known as the Department of Human Services.
The three agencies are, the Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Department for Kansas Aging and Disability Services (KDADS), and Kansas Juvenile Servicies from the Department of Corrections. The chosen person to lead these new agencies will be current DCF and KDADS Secretary Laura Howard. Laura Howard is currently named in a federal class action lawsuit, alleging civil rights violations of our State's children.
The Legislative body has 60 days to deny this request from the governor otherwise it takes effect. I'm hoping the governor does the fiscally responsible thing and announces a reduction in personnel and spending, so the State can save tax payer dollars.