State Treasurer must be the constitutional safeguard when the governor refuses to follow rule of law.
Caryn Tyson, conservative candidate for State Treasurer announces she would not authorize payments demanded by the governor that do not comply with the rule of law.
“Whether it is federal funds or state funds, government funds come from the taxes paid by hard working Kansans. By breaking the rule of law, Governor Kelly is doing nothing short of forcing taxation without representation’” stated Tyson.
The following funds appear to have been spent in a manner that does not comply with state law:
1. During FY 2022, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment paid $4.0 million to the Boston Consulting Group in a no-bid contract for COVID-19 consulting services from the Immunization Grant Federal Fund. COVID-19 related spending from this fund has already exceeded the amount reviewed and approved by the Legislature by $1.5 million, only 6 weeks into the fiscal year. Spending amounts for COVID-19 from federal funds will substantially exceed the amount originally budgeted and specifically authorized by the Legislature. These expenditures must be recommended by the SPARK Executive Committee and approved by the SFC pursuant to 2021 Senate Bill No. 159
2. During FY 2021, subsequent to the 2021 Legislative Session, and in FY 2022, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has paid $3.7 million for Public Service Announcements related to COVID-19 from the Disaster Grants and Public Assistance Federal Fund of KDHE. (FY 2021 $1.3 million; FY 2022 $2.3 million) No expenditures were budgeted by the Legislature for FY 2022 from this fund and expenditures should not have occurred without prior approval by the SPARK Executive Committee and the SFC for any COVID-19 related expenditure. While the source of the funding was Federal Emergency Management Authority, the purpose of the funds was COVID-19 response and this program and any expenditures must be recommended by the SPARK Executive Committee and approved by the SFC pursuant to 2021 Senate Bill No. 159 Section 63 prior to implementation and funding.
3. Pursuant to ARPA, the US Department of the Treasury provided $167.4 million from the federal Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund to the Office of Governor for payment to local non- entitlement units (NEUs) of government to address the economic and health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. (NEUs are generally defined as local governments serving populations less than 50,000.) This money was not budgeted and specifically authorized by the Legislature during the 2021 Session for FY 2022. On June 17, 2021, the Office of Recovery hosted a webinar providing NEUs with initial instructions to request funds from the Office of Governor, to be submitted by July 26, 2021. As of August 11, 2021, an amount of $82.7 million was expended in FY 2022 as payment to NEUs without a recommendation from the SPARK Executive Committee.
“As state treasurer, I would not allow the Governor or anyone to spend taxpayer’s money that go against the rule of law,” said Caryn Tyson.