Political influence possible at Kansas SRS

An article at Kansas Health Institute News Service (Special funding arrangement questioned) starts with this:

“Late last year, as most other programs for people with disabilities were bracing for likely state budget cuts, the head of the state welfare department quietly approved $712,000 in ‘extraordinary’ funding for a Lenexa-based program that specializes in caring for people with severe disabilities.”

This lengthy article describes the process where one organization providing services to disabled clients — of Lenexa — was able to navigate the system in a way that other similar organizatins can’t in order to receive this funding. Don Jordan, secretary of the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services made the funding decision, according to the article.

The organization that received the extra funding has at least two few prominent Democrats on its board, including Larry Gates (chairman of the Kansas Democratic Party and a confidante of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius) and Dan Biles (recently appointed by the governor to the Kansas Supreme Court).

These funding decisions can stir up emotions. Comments left to two posts on this blog (Invisible Kansans Tell Their Stories and Advocates for Invisible Kansans Comment, Not One “Thank You”) provide examples.

The Kansas Meadowlark has more about this when you click Gov. Sebelius, KDP Chair Gates in questionable Medicaid funding arrangement.

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