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New Unemployment Benefit Will Be $300

The six Republicans on the State Finance Council have derailed a recommendation from Governor Laura Kelly to seek $400 weekly in supplemental unemployment insurance for people out of work due to COVID-19.

The Reflector reports that Kelly and the two Democrats on the council supported the request for $100 per week in aid from the state to go with $300 in weekly benefits through a federal program established by President Donald Trump.

The governor, who previously raised red flags about Trump’s unemployment initiative, said the Kansas Department of Labor would submit an application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to secure the $300 in weekly unemployment assistance.

If approved by FEMA, checks could start flowing to out-of-work Kansans late this month.

More than 40 states have opted for only the federal portion of the Trump program, rather than invest state money to push the total to $400 each week.

The funding is to be retroactive to August 1st.

Ryan Wright, acting secretary of the state Department of Labor, said an estimated 76,000 to 93,000 people could benefit from the additional unemployment aid.

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