As discussed in our blog post on Tuesday, the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce supported legislation extending unemployment insurance (UI) weekly benefits to 26 weeks (from the current formula-determined 16 weeks) until next year. This talent retention mechanism will assist employees affected by the 737 Max supply chain layoffs and the ongoing COVID-19 situation. In addition to extending UI benefits to 26 weeks, SB 27 eliminates the “waiting week” (to allow workers to receive UI benefits sooner) and applies retroactively to new claims for UI benefits starting January 1, 2020 (which will help those who were impacted by aviation layoffs earlier in the year). The bill will sunset back to current law on April 1, 2021. If the three-month seasonally adjusted average statewide unemployment rate is 6.0% or higher at that point, the UI weekly benefits will remain at 26 weeks due to the current statutory formula.
The House passed this bill on Tuesday by a vote of 119-0. The Senate then voted later that afternoon to concur in the House amendments by a vote of 31-3. Governor Kelly signed this bill into law today. The enrolled version of the bill can be found here.
Thank you to the Kansas House of Representatives and the Kansas Senate for their quick work to pass this legislation, with a special shout-out to our South Central Kansas Legislative Delegation for their early leadership on the issue. Thank you also to Governor Kelly for quickly signing and implementing this legislation. Keep an eye on the Kansas Department of Labor website for more information.
If you have any questions, please contact Andrew Wiens, Vice President of Government Relations.