Davids Announces Support for Bill to Modernize Kansas Unemployment Insurance Systems

March 16, 2021
Press Release
Investment would help Kansas administer unemployment insurance

Representative Sharice Davids announced her support for the Unemployment Insurance Technology Modernization Act, critical legislation that would invest in the technology needed to modernize Unemployment Insurance Systems in states across the country, including Kansas. The investment would help the Kansas Department of Labor better administer unemployment insurance, response to claimants, and prevent fraudulent activity.

 

“Under the previous administration, Kansas’ unemployment insurance systems were neglected for nearly a decade - forcing our state to rely on outdated technology during the worst health and economic crisis of our lifetimes,” said Representative Davids. “The consequences of this neglect have been Kansans struggling to file unemployment claims or waiting weeks to receive their benefits, which they depend on to feed their families and pay rent. We can’t wait until the next crisis to upgrade our unemployment systems, and that’s why I’m supporting the Unemployment Insurance Technology Modernization Act so Kansas has access to modern, state-of-the -art technology and can better provide folks with the support they need.”

 

“Last month, I wrote a letter to Kansas’ representatives in Washington for the necessary federal support to modernize our dangerously outdated, 40-year-old IT systems, and Congresswoman Davids has answered our call,” said Governor Kelly. “This legislation will help support our ongoing efforts to ensure Kansans the benefits they are owed, to stop the fraudsters trying to game our system, and ensure that the next time we face a crisis that our state is equipped to handle it.”

 

The Unemployment Insurance Technology Modernization Act:

  • Requires the Department of Labor to work with the technology experts to develop, operate, and maintain a modular set of technology capabilities to modernize unemployment compensation technology.
    • States will be able to use all of the capabilities or choose to use only those capabilities that meet their needs.
  • The updated technology will help states ensure timely and accurate delivery of payments and better identify fraudulent claims.
  • Prioritizes user experience, including by requiring consultation and testing with claimants, employers, State workforce agency staff, and other users.
  • Establishes a new Department of Labor Digital Services Team to expand the Department’s ability to assist states with technological issues.
  • Ensures the use of best practices in cybersecurity, procurement, and transparency during and after the development of the technology capabilities.

Davids also voted to pass the American Rescue Plan, which will send an estimated $1.58 billion to Kansas and millions more to cities and counties across the state.