Citing concerns for public safety, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed Senate Bill 171into law Saturday, the state's two-budget for Fiscal Years 2014 and 2015, but he line-item vetoed the FY15 budget for the Department of Corrections.
"The Department of Corrections plays a key role in maintaining our state's public safety. Because I consider it inadequate, I veto the FY 2015 budget and look forward to working with the 2014 Legislature in finding the Department sufficient resources to ensure public safety is not imperiled," Gov. Brownback wrote in his veto to message to the Kansas Legislature.
Pursuant to Article 2, Section 14 of the Constitution of the State of Kansas, the Governor returned the SB 171 with the following line item vetoes:
Department of Administration
-Vetoed transfer of state's $25 million share of FICA refunds because state has not received entire refund from IRS.
-Vetoed transfer of the Curtis State Office Building Maintenance Reserve Fund because action would affect state's bonding authority.
-Vetoed elimination of vacant positions because it will increase overtime at agencies.
Department of Corrections:
-Vetoed transfer of $1.9 million in FY 2013 and $750,000 in FY 2014 from the Kansas Correctional Industries to soften the impact of FY 2014 funding reductions.
-Vetoed FY 2015 budget because it is considered inadequate.
Office of the Attorney General:
-Vetoed transfers from the Court Cost Fund in FY 2015; Medicaid Prosecution Revolving Fund in FY 2014/2015 and concealed carry fund in FY 2014/2015.
Department of Commerce
-Vetoed transfer from the Reimbursement and Recovery Fund because the money is collected from other states and is obligated for the operations of America's Job Link Alliance.
University of Kansas Medical Center
-Vetoed the enrollment management proviso because it would have unintended consequences on the KUMC campuses in Salina and Wichita.
Kansas Water Office
-Vetoed the funding of the Weather Modification program because the State Water Plan Fund resources should be focused on efforts to extend the life of the Ogallala Aquifer and to secure state's future water supply.
-Vetoed the section to implement salary restrictions because it would impact agencies inconsistently and punish those agencies that worked most diligently to drive down costs and reduce staffing in FY 2013. Additionally, this policy would restrict the ability of state agencies to best manage the reduced resources provided by this budget.
Governor Brownback thanked state lawmakers for their hard work during the 2013 session.
"This two-year budget will provide state agencies and school districts a greater level of funding certainty, allowing them to extend their planning horizons and strengthen their focus on improving services. Having a strong ending balance for three straight years will help us weather the uncertainty of a federal government that continues to have major budget problems," Brownback said.
With the Governor's actions, the ending balance for FY2013 is 9.5%; FY 2014 is 8.5% and for FY2015 is 5.3%.