Gov. Laura Kelly today praised progress made toward easing serious problems at state prisons in Kansas.

The governor cited prison pay increases approved during today’s State Finance Council meeting as an important step toward solving the crisis in the state corrections system.

“We have an emergency in Kansas because of prior years of bad decision-making that crippled our corrections operations,” Kelly said. “The plan to increase corrections officer pay is a smart move – our staff on the front lines need more support immediately. It’s a serious public safety issue. The actions taken today by the State Finance Council represent a start toward needed progress.”

Kelly also cited positive news in pay increases approved for all state employees.

“This is a good day for all Kansas public employees,” the governor said. “State employees will receive a 2.5% pay raise, and we’re also lowering health insurance premiums as much as 6% or keeping them flat for the first time in years, after employees saw increases over 30% every year from 2016 to 2018.”