Governor Signs Omnibus Budget Bill

Governor Kelly Signs Omnibus Budget,
Makes Investments in Mental Health, Water,
and Kansas’ Workforce Pipeline

– Governor Laura Kelly announced today that she has signed House Bill 2551, the Omnibus Budget, which passed with bipartisan support. The budget increases funding to address water quantity and quality issues, invests in workforce development, and provides additional funding for essential services and critical mental health needs.

“I am proud of the Legislature’s bipartisan work to ensure we continue to make investments into our state water plan fund, strengthen our workforce, and make progress in addressing Kansans’ mental health needs,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “This funding supports my administration’s work to address critical infrastructure needs, grow our economy, and make Kansas the best place in the country to live, work, and raise a family.”

The budget:

Invests in the workforce pipeline: Provides $8.3 million in need-based financial aid and scholarships, strengthening Kansas’ workforce pipeline. This funding includes $2 million to be invested in students who are pursuing careers in nursing, $1.7 million for first-generation students and children of teachers and paraprofessionals, and more than $1 million for National Guard members pursuing a master’s degree.

Addresses water quality and quantity issues in Kansas: Increases investment in the state water plan fund by $10 million, in addition to the $35 million the governor previously allocated. This funding is critical to addressing Kansas’ water quality and quantity needs. The bill also increases funding to $16 million for projects that will strengthen the state’s infrastructure for drinking water and wastewater in small communities across Kansas.

Makes critical investments in mental health services for students: An additional $4.5 million will be invested in the Mental Health Intervention Pilot to further expand students’ access to behavioral health services. This increase will provide a total of over $18 million in the upcoming school year. With this funding, the Kelly administration has invested over $78 million in this program, resulting in over 6,000 students receiving services in 90 school districts annually.

Builds capacity for mental health treatment in the South Central region: $26.5 million is being invested to build the new South Central Regional Psychiatric Hospital in Wichita. The South Central Regional Psychiatric Hospital will serve acute inpatient mental health patients. It will also be the location for adult forensic beds to alleviate jail overcrowding and shorten wait times on pending evaluations and treatment. The facility will expand access to additional in-patient mental health beds in the region and allow patients to remain closer to home and family while receiving care.

Governor Kelly also line-item vetoed certain aspects of the bill. Find more information and her veto messages here.


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