Kansas Mental
Health Coalition

Veto Session Almost Over - Omnibus Budget Bill Passed

May 08, 2021 1:32 AM | Amy Campbell (Administrator)

Veto Session Almost Over

The Legislature is grinding its way toward adjourning the veto session in the wee hours of Saturday morning.  However, the omnibus budget was approved earlier this evening with the House passing CCR SB 159 98-21 and the Senate voting 26-12.  The debate on the budget legislation was remarkably brief, considering that the House and Senate crafted their negotiating positions through committee action alone – bypassing the process of passing bills through the full chambers prior to conference committee.  The Ways and Means / Appropriations conference committee hit the ground running at 9 am Thursday morning, meeting 9 times until reaching an agreement around 11:15 p.m.  Legislative staff worked most of the night to have the conference committee report ready for final chamber votes today.

Highlights of the Omnibus Budget   Full summary link

Human Services - Adding $31.1 million, including $20.6 million SGF, for the Human Services function and adopting GBA No. 3, Item 1, to delete $268.8 million, including $141.6 million SGF, to implement the Spring 2021 Consensus Caseloads. Other Major Adjustments include:

● Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services:

○ Adding $2.7 million, including $1.2 million SGF, for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) funding, and 10.0 FTE positions for CCBHC certification for FY 2022;

○ Adding $5.6 million, including $2.0 million SGF, for the Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Technology Assisted (TA) waiver for FY 2022;

○ Adding $3.0 million, all SGF, for costs associated with the 988 Crisis Hotline, and adding language to lapse SGF funds associated with the 988 Crisis Hotline implementation, if federal funds are available for this purpose in FY 2022; and

○ Adding $9.6 million, including $4.3 million SGF, and adding language raising the Protected Income Level for HCBS Waivers and the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) from 150.0 percent to 300.0 percent of federal supplemental security income for FY 2022.

● Department of Labor - Adding $9.6 million, all SGF, to update the unemployment insurance benefit system and adding language requiring the agency use up to $250,000 to conduct an outside audit in compliance with Senate Sub. for Sub. For HB 2196 for FY 2022. This includes language requiring the use of federal funds if determined allowable;

Key to the final agreement was adding $53 million to higher education appropriations in order to meet enough of the federal “maintenance of effort” requirements to assure Kansas’ eligibility for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. 

State employees did not get the 2.5% pay increase recommended by the House, but there are salary increases for the Judiciary branch that many say are long overdue.

There were a number of last minute provisos added to the bill relating to topics like limiting contact tracing for purposes of individual privacy and prohibiting vaccine passports, the impacts of which will be unknown for now.

There were also a couple of items added into the omnibus budget that had been line item vetoed by the Governor – including an agreed to change in the way that federal coronavirus aid is approved for State expenditures.

These budget items are in addition to those passed in the mega-budget bill – Sub for HB 2007 prior to first adjournment the first week of April.

The Legislature is still debating a couple of conference committees, but likely to adjourn in an hour or two. 

Status of the State General Fund

The HB 2007 approved budget resulted in an ending balance of $648.5 million in FY 2021 and $10.2 million in FY 2022. Change in economic conditions and federal stimulus have substantially changed that outlook in addition to legislative adjustments.

Major Adjustments include:

● Revised consensus revenue estimates adding $319.8 million in FY 2021 and $41.2 million in FY 2022;

● The passage of SB 50, SB 47, and HB 2143 reducing estimated revenue by $108.5 million in FY 2022;

● Spring Human Services Caseloads reducing SGF expenditures by $189.5 million in FY 2021 and $141.6 million in FY 2022; and

● SB 159 adding $4.4 million in FY 2021 and $70.5 million for FY 2022 in expenditures above the Governor's recommendation as adjusted for GBA No. 3 and No. 4. The effect of these various adjustments results in a projected ending balance of $1.1 billion in FY 2021 and $542.1 million in FY 2022.

(c) Kansas Mental Health Coalition, P.O. Box 4744, Topeka, KS  66604  785-969-1617

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