Kansas extending unemployment benefits due to coronavirus


KANSAS — Many people are worried about how they will pay their bills if they are laid off because of the coronavirus outbreak.

On Tuesday Kansas lawmakers passed a bill that would increase the length of time you can collect unemployment insurance from 16 weeks to 26 weeks.

The idea was originally proposed earlier this session to deal with aviation layoffs in Wichita. Now lawmakers are saying it can apply to everyone.

In Kansas, the average weekly benefit is $398.

Supporters say the bill is an important safety net if the crisis is longlasting.

Rep. Nick Hoheisel, (R) Wichita, said, “It’s more imperative now that we do this, that we provide certainty to the families of Kansas.”

Rep. KC Ohaebosim, (D) Wichita, said, “This is a time that all of us have to rally together and support one another, we’re going to get through this, we’ll wait for next season, we’ll hit the reset button and we’ll be alright.”

If the bill becomes law, the extension would last until April of next year.

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