Jan 18, 2020 12:00 PM

Gov. Kelly wants to reorganize state employee health plan

Posted Jan 18, 2020 12:00 PM

TOPEKA Governor Laura Kelly Friday announced her intent to submit an executive reorganization order (ERO) to the Kansas Legislature, moving the State Employee Health Plan (SEHP) and the State Self Insurance Fund (SSIF) from the Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) to the Department of Administration (KDOA). The new reporting structure will align the office with other employee-focused services and provide improved administrative efficiencies and support.

SEHP administers the Kansas employee health insurance benefit program and also provides staff support and counsel to the members of the Kansas Health Care Commission (HCC), which sets rates and programs for state employee health insurance benefits. SSIF administers workers compensation claims for state employees when they are injured on the job working for the state. Mike Michaels will continue to oversee the SEHP and SSIF under the leadership of Secretary of Administration DeAngela Burns-Wallace. 

“During past administrations, premiums for state employee health insurance increased drastically each year. This made it more difficult and expensive for our employees to receive important health benefits,” Governor Kelly said. “Ensuring affordable, quality health care for employees across the state is one of my top priorities, and this executive reorganization order illustrates that commitment.” 

“The State Employee Health Plan provides critical services to state employees and their families,” Dr. Lee Norman, KDHE Secretary, said. “As a program that provides critical staff services, it makes sense that this should be moved to the Department of Administration. I’m confident that under Dr. Burns-Wallace’s leadership, programs and services will continue to flourish.”

“The Department of Administration provides support and services to state agencies and employees,” Burns-Wallace said. “We look forward to welcoming the SEHP and staff to KDOA, where we can better coordinate and support their mission.”

Governor Kelly will submit the ERO to the Legislature within the first 30 days of session. The ERO will become effective on July 1, following its transmittal to the Legislature, unless either the Senate or the House takes action on the ERO within 60 calendar days of submission.


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Jan 18, 2020 12:00 PM
Kansas woman due in court for alleged counterfeiting
Watterson photo KDOC

COWLEY COUNTY— A Kansas felon with previous convictions that include identity theft and forgery is now in jail for alleged counterfeiting.

Just after 3 p.m. January 14, police responded to a restaurant in Arkansas City for a report of a person later identified as 43-year-old Amy Watterson, who had attempted to pass fake money, according to a media release from police.

Although she left before police arrived, officers quickly located and arrested her. Officers found she was in possession of several bills of fake currency.

Further investigation determined she had attempted to pass the fake cash at multiple locations in the Arkansas City area, as well as in other jurisdictions.

“We are asking local businesses to be extra vigilant when accepting larger-denomination bills that potentially could be fake or counterfeit,” warned Police Chief Dan Ward.

 Watterson remains jailed on requested charges that include counterfeiting as well as one misdemeanor count each of criminal trespass, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of stolen property and theft.

Over the past ten years, Watterson has served prison time for arson, theft, burglary and for making false writing, ID theft and and forgery, according the Kansas Department of Corrections.

She is expected in court later this week on the new charges, according to district court officials.