Governor Urged to End Increased Unemployment Benefits

The Kansas Republican delegation in DC is urging Kansas Governor Laura Kelly to halt increased unemployment benefits.

U.S. Senators Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall, and U.S. Representatives Ron Estes, Jake LaTurner, and Tracey Mann on Monday sent a letter to the Governor calling on her to help get Kansans back to work by halting the increased federal unemployment benefits.

According to Moran’s office, earlier this year Democrats passed legislation without any support from Republicans that provided an additional $300 per week in federal unemployment benefits, creating a situation where many Americans are better compensated for staying unemployed rather than returning to work. The letter follows the release of a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) report showing an uptick in the unemployment rate to 6.1% and employers only adding 266,000 jobs last month, despite widespread projections of over one million jobs to be gained in April.

“Across the state, we’re hearing more and more from businesses searching for the employees they need to reopen yet struggling to make hires due to the generous benefits offered through the unemployment system,” the Kansas GOP delegation wrote. “The extension of the generous $300 per week in additional federal benefits until September, when coupled with the extended state benefits, provides a lucrative government incentive to stay home despite clear signs that the economy is recovering and life is trending toward normal…We must end the federal incentive to stay home so that we can truly reopen the economy, provide Kansans with meaningful and purposeful work, and get our country back to normal.”

Sen. Moran cosponsored the Back to Work Bonus Act last week that would allow states to use Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation funds to provide a one-time, lump sum payment to incentivize workers to return to the workplace after employer verification of their hours and earnings.