The legislature adjourned on Friday, May 4th, which was also Sine Die, with more than a little bit of drama as we had some very tough votes, including finalizing the budget for next year. The good news is we are on the right path to a sustainable state budget and economic stability. We have restored Kansas’s credit rating from “negative” to “stable” as noted in the S & P Global ratings. This is excellent news for our businesses and for our state’s fiscal health.
If you’re looking for a reason to be optimistic in today’s political climate, look no further than the Kansas House of Representatives. Though DC seems to be imploding, we in the Kansas House have made measurable and pragmatic steps, working together for the greater good (in most cases). I’m proud to be part of this group that’s dedicated to making sure we keep Kansas going in the right direction.
Last year we passed the two-year budget plan, but like in your home, as revenues and expenses change, we must amend that budget to reflect those changes. This year’s supplemental budget had the benefit of last year’s tax plan, meaning we could begin to restore funding to basic government services that suffered in recent years by chronic underfunding: higher education, the elderly and disabled, foster care, corrections, and state employee pay. It is a gradual process, but we could make investments this year in these areas, plus we were able to put money toward our state water plan and early childhood programs. House Substitute for Senate Bill 109 passed the Senate, 26-14, and the House, 98-23. I voted yes.