18 April 2019 | Tax and Budget

RELEASE: By passing up federal funds, Kansas passes up chance to strengthen families

April 18, 2019

TOPEKA, Kansas – Kansas is missing out on an important opportunity. Our state ranks 48th in the federal share of its state budget, above only Hawaii and Virginia — meaning that resources from federal programs meant to strengthen our state’s children and families are going unused.

Luckily, with administrative and legislative changes, we can increase access to these tools for success. By increasing its share of federal dollars, Kansas can be more fiscally responsible by shifting state funds currently being used unnecessarily to other needed investments.

A new report out today from the Kansas Center for Economic Growth (a project of Kansas Action for Children) outlines the possibilities for maximizing federal funds from the Child Care and Development Block Grant, Temporary Aid for Needy Families, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and health insurance programs. Read more at: http://bit.ly/KSfedfunds.

“Kansas has missed out on billions of dollars,” said Kansas Action for Children Director of Policy and Research Emily Fetsch. “These aren’t theoretical funds. They could have helped families afford child care. They could have educated communities about SNAP. They could have provided health insurance to more Kansans.

“Simply put, we could have relieved pressure on the state budget in so many areas.”

This federal funds brief is the fourth in a series produced this spring by KAC, KCEG, and the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund. The three other issue briefs cover:

  • The Benefits of Home Visiting. Through home-based visits with trained professionals equipped with strategies and tactics, parents gain skills and competencies essential to supporting and improving the health and development of their children.
  • Maximizing Medicaid for Kansas Kids. From access to prenatal care to a baby’s first encounters with a doctor, Kansas’ Medicaid program provides for powerful opportunities to shape the lives of Kansas kids and their families.
  • Early Childhood Education: Challenges and Opportunities in Kansas. High-quality, affordable early childhood education can help children prepare to be future leaders in our communities and in our state. Unfortunately, quality early childhood education is out of reach for many Kansas kids because of costs and missed opportunities for statewide collaboration.