Budget may draw scrutiny


State News

December 24, 2018 - 8:57 AM

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas’ incoming Democratic governor uses words like “decimated” to describe what’s happened to state government over the past decade and will be looking to add staff, boost spending and rethink contracts that outsourced jobs to private companies.

Yet the same electorate that chose Gov.-elect Laura Kelly out of displeasure with her Republican predecessors opted in more-localized races to push the Legislature further to the right. Upon taking office in January, she will face GOP supermajorities and conservative leaders, setting up political fights over proposals seen as expanding state government’s footprint.

It’s not just big initiatives, such as more spending on public schools or expanding the state’s Medicaid health coverage for the needy. After advisers fanned out to state agencies, Kelly said she’s concerned about a shortage of social workers to serve troubled children, how the state processes tax payments and even whether it can clear highways well in a winter storm.

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