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Things are looking up in Kansas. According to the state’s Department of Labor, the jobless rate was at 4.2 percent in March, down from 4.6 percent at the same time last year. Not only that, but labor force participation is also on the rise.

This alone is good news for local businesses and workers. However, there are more positives coming out of The Sunflower State: A new bill will streamline the unemployment insurance tax system, hopefully making things easier for employers and more cost-effective for the state.

Bill signed into law by Gov. Brownback
The new bill, approved by Kansas lawmakers, was recently signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback, according to The Associated Press. There are several changes in this legislation – the first addressed employers’ UI taxes, the others deal with state funding for school districts.

“New law could limit employer UI contributions.”

The AP reported that the crux of the bill would improve the unemployment insurance system as a whole, helping to make the tax structure more predictable moving forward. The law creates new tax rates for employers, with a maximum weekly UI benefit for workers capped at 55 percent of Kansas’ average wage. The floor is $474. Overall, that is down from the previous 60 percent cap.

At a signing ceremony, House Commerce Committee chairman Mark Hutton, R-Wichita, expressed support of the law.

“This bill will bring a lot of stability to our unemployment funds,” noted Hutton, according to The AP.

Law not without its detractors
While many state lawmakers – and the governor – are excited about the bill, there are still those who are concerned about its implications.

According to the local media outlet the Topeka Capital Journal, some fear that the new law will have a negative effect due to the decline in weekly benefits to workers. Furthermore, it could reduce the amount of money earned by the state due to the drop in employer contributions.

Another sticking point was federal compliance. A change to the Kansas merit system for workers has some worried. However, Sen. Julia Lynn, R-Olathe, stressed that all changes are in-line with federal rules.

“If we can hold the line on the amount of taxes employers have to pay into the unemployment system, then we’re going to recognize more money back in the pockets of businesses to do good things,” Hutton added, the news source reported.

At Corporate Cost Control, we work closely with employers across the country to better manage the nuances of unemployment insurance. Legislation changes on the state level could impact you today, and we welcome any questions or concerns you may have on a wide range of topics.


Contact CCC to see how we can save your organization time and money.
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(800) 207-6926

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