Governor Mark Parkinson was in Wichita Tuesday to discuss the state’s path to economic recovery and to sign legislation improving Kansas’ unemployment system.
“Unemployment benefits can be the bridge to a new job, a new education or a new opportunity,” Parkinson said. “These benefits help out-of-work Kansans get back on the path to recovery – which is critical to turning our state’s economy around.
“This legislation would not have been possible without the cooperation of legislators, labor groups and the business community. It is a demonstration of the positive things that can be accomplished when everybody comes together on common ground to move our state forward.”
Governor Parkinson signed HB 2374 at Spirit Aerosystems, and was joined by Spirit CEO Jeff Turner, Secretary of Labor Jim Garner, Secretary of Commerce Dave Kerr and area Legislators.
HB 2374, sponsored by Wichita Representative Raj Goyle, changes Kansas’ current unemployment system to allow more out-of-work Kansans to qualify for unemployment compensation benefits and extends unemployment benefits to people in state-approved workforce training programs. These changes will allow Kansas the opportunity to draw down $69 million in Recovery Act funds into the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, from which benefits are paid. This legislation goes into effect after its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.
“The opportunity to draw down 69 million in federal unemployment dollars means that we won’t have to ask Kansas businesses for that money in the future,” Parkinson continued. “So this legislation not only helps to train workers for their next job, but also steers us clear of a future tax increase.”
While in Wichita, Governor Parkinson will tour the National Center for Aviation Training before going on to Hays, Kansas this afternoon.