Key Quote: Last week, Kansas officially passed the $5 billion mark in new capital investment since 2019. This milestone follows the announcement that, in 2020, the Department of Commerce broke the record for new capital investment in Kansas in a single year — even during the worst public health crisis we’ve seen in a century. For Kansas families, this achievement means new jobs, new businesses and new economic growth statewide.
Kansas surpasses $5 billion in new capital investment
Governor Laura Kelly
The Kansas City Star
May 9, 2021
When I ran for governor in 2018, I promised the people of Kansas that I would be the “Education Governor.”
But when I took office, we inherited a mess.
Our agencies were hollowed out, schools had been stripped of their resources, and millions of dollars were robbed from the transportation program, aptly nicknamed the “Bank of KDOT.”
I knew it was time Kansas had a governor who prioritized rebuilding our economic foundation, creating jobs and fostering an environment that would allow Kansas to compete on a global scale for jobs and companies.
We’re seeing these efforts pay off in real time.
Last week, Kansas officially passed the $5 billion mark in new capital investment since 2019.
This milestone follows the announcement that, in 2020, the Department of Commerce broke the record for new capital investment in Kansas in a single year — even during the worst public health crisis we’ve seen in a century.
For Kansas families, this achievement means new jobs, new businesses and new economic growth statewide.
Over the last two years we’ve brought innovative, fast-growing companies to Kansas like Urban Outfitters, which is currently building a new 880,000-square-foot distribution center in Wyandotte County expected to employ 2,000 people.
In Salina, Schwan’s Company is expanding its facility and adding 225 new jobs.
And most recently, Hilmar Cheese Company will invest $460 million in Dodge City to build a major production facility with 247 new full-time jobs.
We didn’t break records by antagonizing businesses, reckless tax experiments or undercutting our public schools.
We implemented a holistic approach to economic development, recognizing that true prosperity is achieved by investing in services like education, transportation, broadband and health care.
To attract new companies, we needed good roads that allow for safe and efficient cargo delivery.
We needed to expand access to quality high-speed internet, allowing businesses to compete in an increasingly digital-focused economy.
We needed schools that produce a strong pipeline of skilled workers.
And we needed to expand access to health care to maintain a healthy, productive workforce.
I’m proud to say we have honored my promise to return to fiscal sanity, making strategic investments to usher in a new era of economic prosperity.
In 2020, I signed into law a bipartisan, 10-year transportation program that cuts administrative red tape, saves taxpayers money, and prioritizes my commitment to a strategic, innovative approach towards long-overdue transportation projects.
Thanks to this plan, we now have 133 infrastructure improvement projects that can be let by fiscal year 2023 – and we went from having 13 projects that could be let this year, to now having over 50.
We’re on track to close the Bank of KDOT by the end of my first term – and through a combination of my budget proposal and federal COVID-19 relief funds, we will provide $144 million more for highways over the next three years.
Last year, I established the Office of Broadband Development to improve connectivity statewide.
We included $85 million in the Infrastructure Plan for broadband deployment — the first time in Kansas history that state general funds have ever been dedicated to expanding high-speed internet access.
While obstruction in the legislature has prevented us from expanding Medicaid for 165,000 Kansans, we will not stop fighting for this commonsense, fiscally responsible program that will help us maintain a healthy, productive workforce and save our small businesses money.
Each of these initiatives are interconnected. They make each other stronger and are proof that when we work together to pass good, commonsense policies that support Kansans, we all see results.
This $5 billion milestone for Kansas is a success we all can share. After an incredibly difficult year, we’re on the way back to a stronger, more resilient economy.
I promise we’ll continue pushing for these initiatives and investing in core services to ensure that Kansas families and businesses can thrive for generations to come.