State Finance Council votes down $100 extra a week for the unemployed

Capitol Bureau

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Republican-led State Finance Council has voted down giving $100 a week extra to unemployed Kansans.

For Lesa Rhodes, this is something her family has been hoping for.

“There’s no extra money for anything, there’s not anything left in our savings,” said Rhodes. “I just hope and pray that everybody comes out of this and doesn’t lose everything they’ve ever worked so hard for.”

President Donald Trump had signed an executive order that would give people an additional $400 in weekly unemployment benefits, retroactive to August 1, 2020.

Under his order, the federal government would pay $300 of the weekly benefits and the states would be responsible for the remaining $100. States would also be responsible for building a new computer system to disperse this money.

The State Finance Council voted against the extra $100.

Governor Laura Kelly, a Democrat, issued a statement criticizing the Republican leaders:

“While we are still hoping the federal government takes action and extends the FPUC program, my administration is committed to using whatever tools are available to help Kansans. I’m disappointed that Republican leaders on the State Finance Council continue to play politics during a public health crisis, instead of supporting the plan that was introduced by President Trump. 

“Republican leaders in the Legislature have said they want to help Kansans who are struggling with the impacts of COVID-19, but the first chance they had to do something about it, they voted to make a political point instead of supporting the people of this state who need help.” 

Governor Laura Kelly, D-Kansas

The Kansas Republican Party issued its own statement:

“The Kelly Administration has sat idly by for nearly a month while 45 other states applied for and received the additional $300 weekly federal unemployment benefits authorized by President Trump’s executive order. Weeks have gone by while Governor Kelly has forced Kansans facing immense hardship to struggle for no reason other than their governor playing politics. 

“Only four states have determined the need for using an additional $100 per week in CARES Act funding for unemployment benefits. Republicans on the Finance Council were right to join the vast majority of states across the country in determining those funds will be better used for other priorities as we continue to fight the invisible enemy that is this virus.

“Laura Kelly and her administration’s continued haphazard response to this pandemic is the problem. Kansas Republicans are providing solutions.” 

Mike Kuckelman, Kansas GOP Chairman

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