Governor Signs Budget

Budget legislation signed by Governor Laura Kelly increases funding for Kansas courts, provides extra dollars for higher education, and funds a new state health laboratory.

Kelly used her power to veto individual budget items to remove only one provision.

It would provide $500,000 for clinical trials of a COVID-19 treatment using stem cells.

Kelly called it “unneeded” because of existing treatments and COVID-19 vaccines.

The measure included an additional $53 million for state universities and colleges to meet a federal requirement for states to maintain higher education funding to get coronavirus relief funds.

The measure had $17 million to increase pay for state court employees, including judges, and hire 70 new court services officers.

Lawmakers didn’t include raises for all state workers.

The measure also authorizes $120 million in bonds to renovate a 1950s state office building near the Statehouse, and $65 million in bonds for a new state Department of Health and Environment lab in the Topeka area.