Archive for Thursday, February 23, 2012

Business-backed unemployment insurance bill approved in the House

February 23, 2012


— A bill that could reduce benefits to some unemployed Kansans while cutting unemployment rates paid by new employers was approved Thursday in the Kansas House.

Republicans touted House Bill 2638 as a way to increase new business activity in Kansas, while Democrats said the measure was "crazy." It was approved 85-39.

Under the bill, if a jobless person receives a single lump-sum separation or severance payment, then weekly unemployment benefits would be postponed for a period of time commensurate with the number of weeks of compensation that the lump sum would represent.

And for new employers, the bill, supported by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, would reduce the unemployment insurance contribution rate.

State Rep. Mike Slattery, D-Mission, said since Kansas was borrowing daily from the federal government to pay unemployment insurance benefits, it didn't make sense to cut employer rates.

"We are currently not able to meet our UI bills, and yet the bill in front of you will further reduce our ability to pay our UI bills. How does this make sense?," Slattery asked. "This is crazy," he said.

But state Rep. Marvin Kleeb, R-Overland Park, disagreed. "This bill is another jobs creation bill for Kansas," he said. He said the measure will lure more businesses into the state, create more jobs and help the UI fund become solvent.

The measure now goes to the Senate for consideration.


Jayhawk1958 6 years, 3 months ago

When Republicans say "it will create more jobs" on their bills, does anyone bother to check if they really do?

question4u 6 years, 3 months ago

Kansas is becoming ever more hostile to workers. Keep following the Chamber of Commerce and illegal immigrants will be the ONLY workers willing to come to Kansas.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 6 years, 3 months ago

If you are worth anything to your employer, that is, you show up every day on time, had a bath, do something productive while you are there etc, you will most of the time be very well taken care of. It seems that the thieves, malcontents, druggies and drunks are the ones that get fired, and they are the ones that get the unemployment.

The whole system is stacked in favor of those who are lazy or otherwise not worth having on the payroll.

Drug testing should be required for any kind of government check, as is some type of public service work. We pay for the empty buses to run all over town, why don't we use them to haul freeloaders to places they can earn their checks?

Must be nice to get free money for upwards of 99 weeks, get out of bed a noon, smoke pot and work cash jobs.

Kat Christian 6 years, 3 months ago

This is a pretty narrow-minded view of things. I suppose you've never been in this position before - bu don't hold your breath you're not immune to a lay-off either then just see how difficult it is to get another job. The workforce has changed drastically - jobs that were once plentiful have now become obsolete. Those who had training, schooling or years of experience don't qualify for most jobs anymore. If you are over 55 it isn't so easy to start all over again much less change your career to a manuel labor job. I know a lot of people who have lost their jobs and collecting unemployment and are hardworking individuals and would rather work. BUT WHERE ARE THE JOBS?

deec 6 years, 3 months ago

In Hays a local call center, the 5th biggest employer in town, is closing April 1. Those employees did nothing wrong.

deec 6 years, 3 months ago

I used to work there, and some of them are my friends who are losing their jobs. I think about 300 people will be hunting for new jobs. Some of them were driving 30- 50 miles one way to work there. The company also has a call center in the Caribbean, where they pay about 1/3 what they pay in the U.S.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

I agree, What we need is a final solution, right, chibw?

JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 3 months ago

Next stop for the GOP...bringing back debtors prisons, reclassifying wives as chattel, eliminating child labor laws, etc. Don't laugh. They're not that far from that now. Jesus weeps for their hypocrisy.

headdoctor 6 years, 3 months ago

According to the Kansas GOP, women not just wives are already chattels. No classification needed. They just need to decide for certain what part or parts of them is private chattels or public. Looks like the only business they are going to increase will be female auctions. It could also increase the business for insurance companies and the banks may expand their mortgage divisions to include chattel mortgages. Trading camels, goats, or sheep for them isn't to practical in modern times.

Kat Christian 6 years, 3 months ago

Unfortunately there will be a lot of homeless people in the streets. Then people who have been able to keep their job will be complaining about that. At least welfare and unemployment has helped keep people in homes for the most part. With gas prices going up sky high, groceries will no doubt, stamps soon will be at 50 cents, to add more people out of work when the Post office close. And who is it hurting the most but the older generation who are being squeezed out of their jobs and not rehired. Not a pretty site our future in this country.

JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 3 months ago

I don't hate Sam. I fear his soul is lost to eternal damnation and hellfire for the sins he has committed against his fellow man and woman. I will pray away the GOP.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 3 months ago

You really are out of touch, aren't you? The GAO estimates that nationwide there are fifteen applicants for every job. When my sister opened her restaurant in Leavenworth she advertised positions for two wait staff and a line cook. She had over forty applicants. When Famous Dave's opened in west Lawrence it was a mad house. A personal friend applied there and said it was like a cattle call. People want jobs, math. They are applying. And applying. And applying. All I have to say is you better pray on a daily basis that your wife doesn't lose hers.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 3 months ago

Cait, I recall once looking to hire folks in a business (not the best word, as it was a social service agency looking to start a new branch that involved some commerce). Just like the experience of your sister, I was inundated with applicants. However, those applicants generally fell into three categories. The first and by far the largest group were people who were not qualified for any employment. Some reeked of alcohol. Some were just getting out of jail. Some came dressed so poorly they wouldn't be properly attired for a job as a garbage collector. The second group consisted of people who were overqualified. I had people with Ph.Ds in unrelated fields seeking a job that required some college. These people needed jobs, but they would be gone as soon as something better comes along. The last category was people who were qualified for the position and were ready and willing to do the job as necessary. Unfortunately, this last group was very small indeed. This issues involved with the latter two groups is one of matching applicants with appropriate jobs available. The problem with the first group, the group that is by far the largest, is the temptation to put them in either of the other two categories.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

Well, that's your take as an employer.

Doesn't mean there aren't lots of people looking for work, and having a hard time finding it.

By the way, how do you expect people who are poor to get jobs, if you disqualify them on the basis of how they dress? Likewise, how do we expect people who've been in jail to transition to productive society if they can't find jobs?

Also, if there are a lot of PhD's looking for jobs for which they're overqualified, that means there is a shortage of jobs for which they'd be better suited.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 3 months ago

I wasn't an employer. I was working in a social service agency that was dealing with a vulnerable population. That I was in charge of hiring for a new program doesn't make me an employer. (that came later when I opened my own businesses). If I were to hire a person coming out of jail, or someone who reeked of alcohol, I would not be protecting the vulnerable population that I was charged to protect. It's not incumbent upon me to make them employable. That's their job. (no pun intended). No person, for whatever job, is responsible for hiring a person who is not employable.
BTW - As I recall, doesn't your wife do work such as I described? Ask her if a co-worker were hired who reeked of alcohol or came from jail would work out working with an at-risk population? Or ask someone who works retail, a job where cash is involved if they would hire someone coming out of jail? Or would you eat at a restaurant if the wait staff were more properly attired for trash collection?

The Ph.D. situation you've correctly said that there might be a job shortage. Then again, if someone gets a Ph.D. in ancient dead languages, and then there were no teaching positions available, that doesn't mean that they're entitled to a job. I wouldn't hire that person to work in a restaurant, as an example, because as soon as a teaching job did open up, they're gone. The fact that they're unemployable in restaurants, bars, clothing stores, and the majority of other jobs out there, is just a function of the marketplace.

William Weissbeck 6 years, 3 months ago

What a brilliant plan. Pay for U/E comp by having the unemployed pay for it. Be careful about lowering the rates - Indiana did the same and then came the recession. Then they had to borrow a ton from the feds, and to pay that back, they cut benefits. The end result of the GOP mindset is to make people slaves to their jobs. The point of UE was not only to smooth out the quite predictable periods of layoffs and downturns, but by charging certain employers higher premiums for higher use, to discourage employers from hiring and firing schemes. Too many of you seem to think that the unemployed are that way because they want to be. Do you really think $250/wk is what keeps these people sitting at home on their couches?

usnsnp 6 years, 3 months ago

The comment " Drug testing should be required for any kind of government check", I guess that means retired members of the military and people receving social security check should be drug tested, because they are lazy and are druggies. Also how many people know that you pay federal and state taxes on unemployment checks. I was layed off when I was 71 and wanted to continue working for a couple more years, try and get a job at that age unless you are some politician living on your name.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 3 months ago

The part about severance packages being given to employees reminds me of a case I read about not too long ago. There was a woman named Arlene Ackerman who was the superintendent of the San Francisco school system. She did such a poor job, that she had her contract bought out, for just under a million dollars. For some reason, another school system back east decided to hire her. Again, she performed so poorly that her contract was again bought out, again for a high six figures. She then showed up on the unemployment line to collect her several hundred dollars a month in benefits. From the looks of this article, her case would be what they were going after, though her case would certainly represent an extreme example. If a run of the mill employee at a place like Boeing gets a couple of weeks paid severance, that person would also get caught up in this new proposal. The legislature might consider reworking this proposal so that it might target those at the very top, while letting the little guy at the bottom keep his severance to tide him over until he gets his next job.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

That's a fascinating story.

Why do you simply pass over the obvious problem here, that she did poorly and was rewarded for it with 6 figure buy-outs?

jhawkinsf 6 years, 3 months ago

The problem is obvious. These golden parachutes that are included in many contracts have no business being there. If they happen in private business, it's none of my business, hence the "private" part. However, for an administrator in a public agency (school system) to have them and then be rewarded with two high six figure buyouts as a reward for doing a so poor a job that you're basically being terminated, that's just plain wrong. How many teachers could that have hired? How many books? Just another example of government bureaucracy.

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