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Publications iconKansas Register

Volume 41 - Issue 17A - April 29, 2022

State of Kansas

Office of the Governor

Message from the Governor
Regarding House Substitute for Substitute for Senate Bill 267

I want to thank the Legislature for their work and bi-partisan collaboration to pass House Substitute for Substitute for Senate Bill 267 – a budget that allows us to continue to improve core services while investing in our future and setting the stage for additional economic growth.

This budget completes a promise I made to close the Bank of KDOT, it restores and renews the state’s commitment to higher education, it fully funds the state water plan, it provides historic funding for the most vulnerable and those who care for them, and it invests in our law enforcement and public safety officers.

Enhancements for workforce and economic development will allow Kansas to continue our record-breaking success in attracting and retaining businesses. The historic investment in moderate income housing will ensure that we have quality housing to recruit and retain families throughout the state.

Funding for state employee pay increases, updated equipment and resources, and facility upgrades will benefit the public and make a down payment toward appropriately rewarding Kansans who dedicate their lives to public service.

Finally, this budget preserves the funding necessary to eliminate the state food sales tax on groceries, benefiting all Kansans, while making a $500 million deposit in the state’s Budget Stabilization Fund—by far the largest Rainy Day Fund investment in state history.

With all that this budget does accomplish, it could do more to ensure that all communities in the state have the access to healthcare that Kansans deserve and that prospective new residents expect. Given how new business growth requires a healthy workforce, I will continue to urge the Legislature to make the commonsense decision to expand Medicaid and return Kansas’ federal tax dollars to our communities.

Therefore, pursuant to Article 2, Section 14(b) of the Constitution of the State of Kansas, I hereby return House Substitute for Substitute for Senate Bill 267 with my signature approving the bill, except for the items enumerated below.

Kansas Public Employees Retirement System—Exclusive Opportunity for Legislators

  • Section 43(d) has been vetoed in its entirety.

Legislators must make an irrevocable decision when they begin public service to either join or decline enrollment in the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS). The policy in Section 43(d) would create an exclusive opportunity for legislators to reverse the irrevocable decision that they consciously made when they elected not to join (KPERS). Other public employees including teachers, public safety officers, and nurses are not allowed this special election under law. Further, this provision likely would not be approved by the Internal Revenue Service if reviewed.

State Board of Regents—Special Line Item for Single Program

  • The portion of Section 109(a) that reads as follows has been line-item vetoed:
    • Benedictine college engineering program $200,000

Under the State Board of Regents budget, $200,000 is appropriated for a college engineering program at Benedictine College. This budget includes many enhancements for higher education, including significant increases in funding for grant programs for public and private postsecondary institutions. One of these appropriations is a $10,000,000 grant program in Section 29(f) that is reserved exclusively for the state’s private and independent colleges. Benedictine College should apply for public funding for the college engineering program through this specifically designated appropriation for similar programs.

Dated April 19, 2022.

Laura Kelly

Doc. No. 050091