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Kelly clarifies Kansas still studying future of federal unemployment programs



KANSAS – Gov. Laura Kelly said Thursday the state is still evaluating whether to continue federal unemployment programs.

In a statement Wednesday, Kelly’s office said she did not intend to end the pandemic-related assistance programs early, even as state’s like Missouri announced they were pulling out.

Republican members of the state’s congressional delegation also issued a call Thursday for Kansas to opt out, saying it’s discouraging people from finding work.

Kelly says she’s exploring the question.

“I understand that there’s some concerns on the part of business that perhaps it’s the unemployment benefits that are creating the lack of applicants for jobs, particularly lower paying jobs, but there’s conflicting anecdotal data right now,” Kelly said. “I need to just really study the issue and figure out whether that’s the cost or if there’s other things that we need to do to ensure our employers have access to a workforce.”

Kelly said any decision she makes will be based on facts.