TOPEKA (KSNT) – Governor Laura Kelly has officially signed a bill that lawmakers expect to bring thousands of jobs to the state with a $4 billion business investment.
Senate Bill 347, otherwise known as the Attracting Powerful Economic Expansion Act, or APEX, has now been signed by Kelly. The bill is aimed at helping Kansas compete on a national and global scale for large economic development projects.
“This positions Kansas to potentially land a once-in-a-generation opportunity that could transform our economy. This tool is about more than just one project. It makes us an economic powerhouse ready to compete on a national and global scale. That means thousands of new jobs, billions more business dollars injected into the economy, and more opportunities for Kansas families.”Governor Laura Kelly
The business that the bill focuses on has been a secret so far and it is unclear when it will be revealed. Despite the mystery, passing the bill has seen bipartisan support, which Kelly said she was thankful to Senate President Ty Masterson and House Speaker Ron Ryckman for.
“Passage of APEX shows there is strong bipartisan support to put Kansas on the national stage for economic development. The APEX bill gives us a realistic shot at winning large economic development projects that will bring huge business investment and job creation to our state. We are excited about our chances with the current prospect that would be transformative for our state and deliver long lasting benefits to Kansas.”Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland
APEX did face some obstructions in recent weeks as some senators expressed their concerns over the bill. Sen. Caryn Tyson, R-Parker, expressed concern over the bill earlier this year on Jan. 25, saying that if it wasn’t changed then it could leave the state in a position where they’d have to pay money back on income tax.
“The income tax on it is refundable, meaning that the company could pay back more than they paid in,” Tyson said. “That means the state of Kansas would be writing them a check. So, we need to take a close look at this legislation. This is not something that you should try to pass quickly.”Sen. Caryn Tyson
The secret business is currently considering Kansas and another state as the new base for their expansion. If Kansas does secure the deal, then it would be the largest private-sector investment in the state’s history.