Capitol Comments Articles
Senate and House Budget Committees Meet

Budget Plan (April 28, 2021) –This week, both the Senate Ways and Means Committee and the House Appropriations Committees met to assemble omnibus legislation.

The committees received a report on the overall state fiscal outlook following the updates to the April consensus revenue estimates. The committee learned the overall estimates for fiscal years 2021 and 2022 were increased by a combined $361.0 million. The current State General Fund profile shows an ending balance in FY 2021 estimated at 15.5 percent or $662.7 million.

The human caseload estimates also were updated for committee members. Kansas Legislative Research staff reported the revised estimates for all human service caseloads is $3.8 billion from all funding sources, including $1.0 billion from the State General Fund, which is an all-funds decrease of $353.7 million below the budget approved by the 2021 Legislature. For KanCare medical expenditures, staff estimated a decrease of $334.4 million from all funding sources due to a decrease in capitation expenditures. The decreases are a result of lower estimated population growth compared to the estimates made last fall in that population.

The committees reviewed Governor Laura Kelly's budget adjustments, as well as an overview of the line-item vetoes made by the governor to the budget bill passed before the Legislature went on break. Those line-item vetoes included:

  • A process for review of Federal Coronavirus Relief Funding that would have gone through the Legislative Branch only and not included the previously established SPARK Taskforce and State Finance Council
  • Changing of the protected income level for the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly
  • Lifting of the moratorium at state psychiatric hospitals on Oct. 1, 2021
  • A directive to the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services to issue a request for proposals from potential providers interested in participating in the PACE program
  • Language requiring new employees to have pay parity for Larned State Hospital and Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility
  • Funding for the Hope Ranch Pilot Program
  • A 2 percent cut if state agencies do not meet performance-based budget objectives
  • A prohibition on state expenditures to enforce statewide mask mandates
  • E-verify provisions requiring state agencies and contractors to utilize the system

The committees also began to review items flagged for further discussion and make motions to assemble their final budget package of the 2021 session. The full Legislature returns for continued discussions on vetoed items, outstanding items and final budget items on May 3. They are slated to finalize work by May 11, although additional time can be added if necessary.