New Kansas legislation increases max length of unemployment benefits, ensures hourly school worker pay

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WDAF) – New bipartisan legislation signed by Gov. Laura Kelly extends the max potential length of time a person can receive unemployment benefits and provides more flexibility to schools.

Previous legislation set the maximum amount of time to 16 weeks. SB27 extends that time for anyone who started to file unemployment claims on or after Jan. 1, 2020 to 26 weeks.

“I want to thank the Legislature for working together to fast track this critical legislation,” Kelly said in a statement. “We must have a plan for Kansans who are facing so much uncertainty.”

Another bill, SB142, addresses schools in the state. It does two things. First, it allows schools to waive the mandatory 1,116 school hours per year as long as the school enacts alternative learning plans.

It also codifies into law what had been legislative intent, or precedent set by the courts, that all hourly employees of schools will continue to get paid. Salaried employees should continue to get paid regardless.

“In a time of crisis and uncertainty, our schools need flexibility and support,” Kelly said in the statement. “We will get through this together.”

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