The Kansas Legislature has just wrapped up its first week of session. The big story this week was the State of the State address by Gov. Kelly, followed by the release of her budget.
Gov. Kelly laid out her priorities, which include: full funding for K12, expansion of Medicaid, engaging on rural Kansas issues, and rebuilding DCF and Kansas foster care system. You can view the State of the State address here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=op6gwtuGDqU
Her budget echoed those priorities in a bit more detail. The first big change in the budget is the move back to a one-year budget cycle. Under the last administration budgets were set for two years and recalculated in the out year. However, Kelly kept K12 funding on a two-year cycle.
The Kelly budget calls for an additional $364 Million for K12 to be phased in. This amount should satisfy the court order and end the cycle of litigation on this topic. Kelly also added $14 million in 2020 and $20 million in 2021 for Medicaid expansion. Many believe this is not the true amount to cover the expansion. The Kelly budget also pays off the PMIB loan while re-amortizing KPERS.
You can read the entire budget presentation here - https://budget.kansas.gov/wp-content/uploads/Directors_Overview_FY2020-1-17-2019.pdf
The governor also recommends almost $22 million more for the Judicial Branch Budget in 2020. The breakdown is as follows: $300k for administration salaries; $1.5 million for Appellate Salaries and $18.3 million for district court salaries. These recommendations can be found on pages 197-210 on the linked site. See: https://budget.kansas.gov/wp-content/uploads/FY2020_GBR_Vol2-1-17-2019.pdf This amount is the total OJA has requested for salary adjustments.
OJA has introduced two bills, SB 20 the surcharge extension bill which the KBA supported in the past, and SB 19 dealing with pre-sentencing reports. The pre-sentencing report bill simply adds community correction centers to the list of entities with the ability to see pre-sentencing reports.
The Kansas Judicial Council introduced HB 2038 which automictically revokes beneficiary designations upon divorce. They also proposed HB 2039 which gives full faith and credit to Native American judgments.
The Kansas Judicial Council has also released its December reports on four studies. Those studies include:
Bill introductions are moving at a decent pace for week 1. You can see which bills have been introduced by visiting www.kslegislature.org or by viewing the KBA Bill Tracking Chart at www.ksbar.org