Governor Laura Kelly’s Budget Amendment Aims to Enhance Intellectual/Developmental Disability and Physical Disability Waivers

By Trish Svoboda

Today, February 6th, Governor Laura Kelly unveiled a Governor’s Budget Amendment for her Fiscal Year 2025 budget plan, allocating more than $23 million to enhance the Intellectual/Developmental Disability (I/DD) and Physical Disability (PD) waivers. This will create 250 new slots for each category.

This investment will ensure that an additional 500 Kansans with disabilities can access services like in-home care, thereby reducing the service waitlist. Gov. Kelly remains committed to pursuing lasting solutions to enhance the capacity of disability service providers, advocating for initiatives like Medicaid expansion and the Community Supports Waiver. If Medicaid were expanded in Kansas, approximately 15,000 residents with disabilities would become eligible for health insurance coverage.

“As we’ve heard from disability advocates and families, Kansans with disabilities need the essential services and care provided by these waivers to live comfortably. While we work to build a more comprehensive network of disability services providers, I am committed to reducing the wait times for waiver services,” Gov. Laura Kelly said. “In addition to this investment, I will continue to urge the legislature to expand Medicaid to better recruit and retain the workforce needed for more Kansans with disabilities to access quality resources and services.”

Following underfunding from the previous administration, Gov. Kelly invested $90 million to improve services for the I/DD waiver throughout her time in office.

Governor Kelly has allocated an additional $8.6 million enhancement in her Fiscal Year 2025 budget to raise Supported Employment rates for the I/DD waiver community. This funding aims to allow individuals on the I/DD waiver to pursue their employment goals and contribute to addressing workforce shortages in Kansas. In her Fiscal Year 2024 budget, Governor Kelly also reserved $7.4 million for I/DD Targeted Case Management and $2 million for I/DD Mobile Crisis Services.

In addition, the Governor’s Budget Amendment encompasses funding for a new information system at the Department for Children and Families. This system will assist the agency in identifying kin and relative placements for foster youth. The amendment aims to retire over $47 million in bonds for various projects including the Curtis and Myriad Buildings, the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, Statehouse renovations, and previous capital improvement projects. The amendment would also retire $450 million in KPERS debt.

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