Politics & Government

Kansas lawmaker's plan would use stimulus money for unemployed

In the face of mass layoffs and rising unemployment, a Wichita legislator has introduced a bill to expand eligibility for unemployment benefits and qualify Kansas for about $68 million in federal stimulus money.

The chairman of the committee that will consider the bill says he is asking for more information to ensure the federal funds don't end up costing the state more than it gains.

House Bill 2374 seeks to alter state law to get increased unemployment money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, recently passed by Congress in an attempt to jump-start the ailing national economy.

"Working Kansans are suffering in this economic downfall," said a statement by Rep. Raj Goyle, D-Wichita, who introduced the measure in the House Taxation Committee.

Getting unemployment benefits to more people will help them pay for groceries, utilities, mortgages and other expenses, keeping the recession from deepening and helping spur recovery, he said.

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