Kansas lawmakers pass bill to overhaul unemployment program

Job Application (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

TOPEKA, Kansas – Kansas legislators have approved a bill setting a new cap on benefits for unemployed workers and overhauling the collection of taxes from businesses to finance the aid.

The Senate approved the bill on a 29-11 vote Thursday. The House approved it earlier this month, 85-36.

The measure goes next to Gov. Sam Brownback for his possible signature.

The bill is designed to make the taxes paid by businesses more predictable by setting fixed rates in state law. The state currently set rates annually based on what it thinks will be needed to finance benefits.

The maximum weekly benefit for workers would be 55 percent of the state’s average wage. The cap is now 60 percent, but the bill says the new cap couldn’t drop below the current figure of $474.

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