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Kinney Reflects on Condition of State Address, Concerned About Budget Cuts

Posted: Thursday, January 11th, 2018 at 6:26 am
Author: Sally Y. Hart - KCII News

The first condition of the state speech given by a woman was presented by Governor Kim Reynolds this week.

State Senator Kevin Kinney (D) said it was a good speech, but he worries about the funds, “The biggest question is, ‘What can we do?’ our state budget is so tight. And one of the biggest things, and I was glad to hear her talk about it, is going in and looking at some of the tax credits and so forth in which we give. Because our state budget has been increasing, but the problem is it’s now out-paced by the percentage of tax credits that we’ve been giving out.” There is a $37 million budget shortfall and Kinney, a former employee of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, said cuts will have to be made, “I did notice that a lot of it’s going to be coming from the Department of Corrections, which really concerns me because we have stripped the Department of Corrections. I just feel that we’re making it such a place that it’s vulnerable for workers, and it’s going to be a very unsafe place to work. It’s almost like it’s scary, because I put a number of those people in there and I know they aren’t saints by any means.”

He added he was pleased she addressed the opioid epidemic, which is something he is working to develop legislation on in a bipartisan effort this session. In regards to Medicaid, Reynolds said, “…Mistakes were made.” Kinney said he was pleased she acknowledged this and hopes that the state will further case management moving forward.

The first legislative briefing of the session in Washington will be held Saturday, January 20th, at 10 a.m. at the Washington County Courthouse.