February 19, 2021
The foster care system in Kansas is broken. Senate Bill (SB) 85 is another effort to fix it. It would require notifications by foster care contractors to the Department for Children and Families (DCF) when a foster child is missing or spends the night in a location that is not licensed. There is a $500 fee per day the incident is not reported. The bill passed 38 to 0.
Many of you have experienced the flaws in the Kansas unemployment system, be it as someone trying to file for payment, someone who had a fraudulent claim filed in your name, or a business with false claims filed against. The problems are too numerous to list. It is devastating and it didn’t happen overnight. Documentation presented in committee, stated that millions of dollars have been appropriated to upgrade and improve the system but those upgrades did not occur. A Legislative Post Audit in 2007 speaks to fraud and flaws in the system and still those problems have multiplied over the years. On top of this, approximately $1 billion in the unemployment fund has been depleted in less than one year. It is estimated over $300 million has been paid in fraudulent claims.
In an effort to address the problems, there are two bills being worked, one in the House and SB 177 in the Senate. Legislators are working hard to address these issues but ultimately it is the responsibility of the Governor. There’s plenty of blame for governors past and present. Let’s get it fixed.
It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your 12th District State Senator.