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KANSAS

Kansas

State Recovery Act Website: http://www.governor.ks.gov/recovery

Kansas's state Recovery Act website scored 10 out of 100 possible points (ranking a tied 47th) on Good Jobs First's 51-state study of state stimulus websites entitled Show Us the Stimulus. The state earned a low score by failing to disclose specific program allocations, contractor information, allocations by county or compared to economic need, or any job creation data. Contractor information: none.

Kansas scored more points-35 out of 100 (ranking a tied 29th)-on its disclosure of information specifically about highway projects funded by the Recovery Act.  The state's Department of Transportation website describes highway projects and costs, names contract awardees, and discloses projected job creation information. Contractor information: here (click on a project, then "More Project Information" will display a new page with tabs allowing for the display of contractor names).

For detailed scoring information, see the Kansas appendix of Show Us the Stimulus.

Coordination & Oversight

While he was still lieutenant governor, Mark Parkinson was chosen to lead an ARRA Advisory Group.  Parkinson took over as governor in late April after Kathleen Sebelius was confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Policy Debates

After the Recovery Act was signed, Republicans in the Kansas legislature warned against incorporating the new money flows into the state budget. House Speak Mike O'Neal was quoted as saying "we'd be very foolish to take federal stimulus money and build it into an existing budget that requires recurring appropriations." Then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius ignored that advice and proposed a new budget for the 2010 fiscal year that factored in stimulus funds, recommending that the money be used to avoid cutting aid to schools and for one-time projects. The governor did not, however, abandon her previous proposals for other budget cuts, though her reductions were less than what Republicans were seeking.

The crisis grew worse by March, when the state's projected budget deficit for the coming fiscal year was revised upward to $682 million. Republicans seemed to accept the idea that federal money would be needed to help pay for K-12 education but expressed opposition to stimulus money for higher education.

In April the governor signed a $13 billion budget for the coming fiscal year and vetoed the legislature's proposal to spend federal stimulus funds for higher education solely on deferred maintenance. Despite having a signed budget, it was reported that legislators expected to rewrite it later.

After a three-week break, the legislature returned to session and approved a budget-balancing plan that included $22 million in additional cuts for higher education. Legislators also approved legislation that made the state eligible for additional unemployment compensation funds by improving eligibility for part-time workers who are laid off.

Last updated on: 14 October, 2009

Quick Facts

Population:
2,802,134

Median Household Income:
$47,451

Unemployment Rate:
7.1%

Poverty Rate:
11.2%

Estimated Recovery Act Funding:
$1.8 billion

Watchdog Groups

Resources

Kansas Action for Children issued a paper on how the stimulus bill will help children and families.

 

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