Gov. Laura Kelly signs unemployment legislation overhaul
TOPEKA, Kan. – Governor Laura Kelly on Monday signed the Unemployment Legislation bill, House Bill 2196, which passed with bipartisan support.
“After a decade of neglect, this bipartisan legislation is another important step to address and resolve the issues facing the Kansas Department of Labor,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Critically, this bill will support our ongoing modernization of the 40-year-old IT system that struggled to handle the record volume of claimants and newly created federal programs. This bill and the work accomplished during the legislative session will ensure that the Department of Labor will truly be prepared the next time our state faces an unprecedented economic crisis.”
The governor said the legislation will ensure that the state completes the work of replacing the 40-year-old unemployment computer system and start the modernization process.
“KDOL’s focus remains getting legitimate claimants paid in a timely and efficient manner as possible,” said KDOL Secretary Amber Shultz. “The agency is also looking forward to working with the legislature and all stakeholders to move through the procurement process and push the modernization project forward.”
The legislation addresses several unemployment components that will help Kansans who have struggled to re-renter the workforce, including:
- Keeps Regular Unemployment Insurance Benefits at 26 weeks through September 5th
- Increases the number of claimants connected to employment services at the Department of Commerce
- Ensures employers are held harmless for fraudulently filed claims
- Expands the department’s capacity to address claimant appeals