Governor Kelly Announces Budget Amendment to Increase Funding for Intellectual/Developmental Disability and Physical Disability Waivers:
Here’s What They’re Saying 

Governor Laura Kelly announced last week a Governor’s Budget Amendment to her Fiscal Year 2025 budget proposal to invest over $23 million for the Intellectual/Developmental Disability (I/DD) and Physical Disability (PD) waivers, creating 250 new slots for each. 

This investment will allow 500 more Kansans with disabilities to receive critical services such as in-home care while Governor Kelly continues to push for long-term solutions that expand the capacity of disabled service providers, such as Medicaid expansion and the Community Supports Waiver. 

Here’s what they’re saying: 

Governor Kelly’s budget amendment will help us deliver essential disability supports and services to more Kansans and provide an opportunity for them to live in the community either on their own, with their families or in a group setting. Additional funding to reduce the wait list is a critical first step in addressing the complex issue of the demand for community-based services often outweighing available resources.”
—Secretary Laura Howard, Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services 

“This budget amendment from Governor Kelly is an important step to taking care of more people waiting for physical and intellectual supports. Expanding Medicaid and ensuring we have qualified direct service professionals to meet the state’s growing demands are two more important steps toward alleviating the time individuals spend on the wait lists.”
—Michele Heydon, Long Term Services Coordinator, Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services 

“Advocates with the Self Advocate Coalition of Kansas (SACK) are happy that Governor Kelly has amended the budget to include funding to reduce the I/DD & PD waiver lists. We hope that the legislature will add to this investment so that more of our brothers and sisters with disabilities get access to critical waiver services even sooner. This amendment is a great 1st step. We look forward to working together towards a long-term plan that makes an even bigger dent in the wait list and ultimately to elimination of the waiting lists.”
—Jaclyn Anderson, Project Coordinator, Self Advocate Coalition of Kansas 

“We applaud the Governor’s addition of funds to her SFY 2025 budget to bring 250 I/DD waiting list individuals into service next year. It represents a measured approach to this issue in line with the recommendations of InterHab’s members, which include efforts to arrest further growth of the list while we work together to establish a strategic approach to the list’s elimination.”
—Matt Fletcher, Executive Director, InterHab 

“With the national shortage of direct care workers putting people with disabilities in crisis, we need to do something to help make this work more enticing. With Medicaid expansion, workers would be eligible to do a job that is fulfilling and meeting a crucial need for people disabilities and have healthcare.”
—Shari Coatney, Executive Director, Southeast Kansas Independent Living (SKIL) Resource Center 

“We are pleased that the governor amended her budget to add 250 slots each to reduce the waitlists on I/DD and PD Waivers, which would reduce the I/DD waitlist by a little less than 5% and cut the PD waitlist by just over 10%. This is the first step in a long appropriations process. We strongly encourage the Kansas Legislature to add significant dollars to the governor’s budget to reduce both waitlists by at least 20%, so that 2024 becomes the first year of a five-year plan to eliminate the Wait for HCBS in Kansas.”
—Sara Hart Weir, Executive Director, Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities, and Rocky Nichols, Executive Director, Disability Rights Center of Kansas