TOPEKA — On Tuesday evening, Jan. 16, Governor Laura Kelly addressed both legislative bodies in the Kansas House Chamber to administer her state of the state address which included her vision for the state of Kansas. Governor Kelly implored the legislature to proceed with caution as she contends that the state of Kansas is continuing a “fragile recovery.”
Governor Kelly’s main points focused on addressing education funding, the expansion of KanCare, and foster care. She also stipulated that she would like the process of addressing education finance to be a separate bill from the budget to have that move more quickly through the process.
Another main focus of the governor is on our rural communities and rural economic development. She mentioned that her administration, the Department of Commerce, and the House committee on Rural Revitalization will address the economic needs of our rural areas of the state.
The governor’s state of the state address was Governor Kelly’s first address to the legislature on her approach and vision.
Governor Kelly’s Budget
Early Wednesday morning, Jan. 17, both the House Appropriations and Senate Ways and Means committees met jointly to have the Division of Budget release the details of Governor Kelly’s budget. The governor has opted to revert back to a one-year budget as opposed to a two-year budget, which has been the practice for years. Her budget is contingent on reamortizing the KPERS payments, not allowing the transfer $238 million to the Kansas Department of Transportation, adding $134 million for K-12 Education funding, funding for vacant positions at our correctional facilities, Kansas Armory upgrades, just to mention a few. There are many more details in her budget, which the budget committees and Appropriations committee will address during the session.
During the 2018 legislative session, the Joint Legislative Transportation Taskforce was created since T-Works will be concluding in 2020. This task force was created in order to conduct meetings across the state and identify transportation needs in all of the different regions. I was a member of this task force and attended the meetings in communities all-across the state to identify those projects that may be included in the state of Kansas’ next comprehensive transportation plan. We identified that the main focus for the new transportation plan should be: preservation of our existing infrastructure, completing T-works and the 23 delayed transportation projects, and, finally, new construction. The 2019 legislature will be drafting the new transportation plan. I will definitely keep all informed on the progress of the new plan.
As always, if you have any concerns, feel free to contact me (785) 296-7672, follow on twitter at #waymaster4house, visit www.troywaymaster.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you happen to visit the statehouse, please let my office know.
It is a distinct honor to serve as your representative for the 109th Kansas House District and the state of Kansas. Please do not hesitate to contact me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions. I always appreciate hearing from the residents of the 109th House District and others from the state of Kansas, as well.