As 2021 ends, the Kelly Administration highlights promises made and kept over the last year despite the challenges.
“Although we faced unprecedented challenges this year, we never lost focus on the issues that matter most to Kansans,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “From creating over 11,000 new jobs, breaking economic record after economic record, fully funding our schools for the third year in a row, and reinvesting in our roads and bridges, this year we delivered results for our families. We’ll continue following through on our promises in 2022 to keep Kansas the best place in the nation to live, work, and raise a family.”
As of this week, in 2021, the Kelly Administration has closed 318 economic development projects, totaling $3,773,969,766 new business dollars invested in the state of Kansas – creating over 11,000 new jobs. 2021 is officially the most successful business year in Kansas history.
ECONOMY: This year, the Kelly Administration took significant steps to grow Kansas’ economy, achieving record-breaking success, including:
- Relocating the Kansas Tourism Division to the Kansas Department of Commerce to spur economic growth.
- Awarding over $15 million in Community Development Block Grants in 2021 for essential infrastructure, building rehabilitation in downtowns, and community facilities and services. The CDBG-CV program has continued to respond to the needs of small businesses through the pandemic, assisting a total 1,313 small businesses and retaining 5,332 jobs from 2020 – 2021.
- Expanding the Kansas Main Street Program by three additional communities to reinvest in small businesses, recruit new families, and grow our economy.
In 2021, the Kelly Administration’s received:
- Area Development Magazine’s Gold Shovel Award for economic excellence.
- Accolades as the 10th best state in the nation for capital investment projects per capita by Site Selection Magazine.
- And was ranked in the top 20 states for doing business for the first time ever.
Since taking office, Governor Kelly has closed 542 economic development projects, totaling $7,597,516,411 new business dollars invested in the state of Kansas – creating 31,364 new jobs.
BIPARTISANSHIP: During the 2021 legislative session, Governor Kelly signed 93 bipartisan bills – more than the two previous sessions combined.
EDUCATION: This year, Governor Kelly kept her promise to fully fund Kansas public schools for the third year in a row, and guaranteed funding through FY 2023. Additionally, this year Governor Kelly:
- Signed E.O. 21-08, establishing the Advantage Kansas Coordinating Council to align education with business needs to improve Kansas’ workforce.
- Established the Safer Classrooms Workgroup to keep students safe and schools open.
- Distributed over $91 million in Child Care Sustainability Grants to help providers stay operational, benefiting an estimated 136,356 children.
INFRASTRUCTURE: The Kelly Administration continues to make unprecedented investments in our state’s roads, bridges, highways, and high-speed internet access.
- This year, the Kelly Administration moved $900 million in transportation projects to construction – more than triple what was done in 2017, all without an increase in taxes.
- In 2021, the Kelly Administration has invested transportation dollars in 103 of Kansas’ 105 counties to improve safety and grow our economy.
- Since establishing the Office of Broadband Development in 2020, the Kelly Administration has supported infrastructure deployments connecting over 50,000 new homes and businesses to high-speed internet. Additionally, the Kelly Administration has helped nearly 40,000 students and low-income households get connected through hot-spots, devices, and internet subscription support.
SUPPORTING KANSANS: The Kelly Administration continues to champion forward-thinking policies that support Kansans and move our state forward, including:
- Providing $12 million in grants to secure local food systems and support Kansas’ agriculture community; working with KDA to expand mental health resources for Kansas farmers and ranchers.
- Establishing the Division of the Child Advocate to establish an independent accountability structure to protect Kansas children and families in the child welfare system.
- Announcing the completion of the first statewide housing needs assessment in nearly 30 years to expand affordable housing statewide.
- Providing $50 million to help retain and attract additional frontline hospital workers during COVID-19; and raising pay for state employees in 24/7 facilities.
- Commuting the sentences of five incarcerated individuals and granting pardons to three individuals – all of whom showed strong signs of rehabilitation and the ability to safely re-enter society.
- Lifting the nearly 7-year moratorium on voluntary admissions at Osawatomie State Hospital to provide extended mental health resources to Kansans in need.
“Despite this year’s successes, we know there’s more work to do to grow our economy and support our families,” said Governor Kelly. “Next year, we must Axe the Food Tax to provide tax relief to every Kansas family, continue to fully fund our public schools, and pass Medicaid expansion to keep our people healthy and workforce strong. My administration will continue championing policies that move Kansas forward.”