Kansas: Strengthening Eco Devo Toolkit

Governor Laura Kelly Signs Bipartisan Bill, Strengthening Economic Development Toolkit

~Legislation Could Help Kansas Land Biggest Private Sector Investment in State’s History~

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today signed the bipartisan bill known as Attracting Powerful Economic Expansion Act (APEX). The bipartisan bill creates a new tool in Kansas’ toolbox that allows the state to compete on a national and global scale for large economic development projects.

“This positions Kansas to potentially land a once-in-a-generation opportunity that could transform our economy,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “This tool is about more than just one project. It makes us an economic powerhouse ready to compete on a national and global scale. That means thousands of new jobs, billions more business dollars injected into the economy, and more opportunities for Kansas families. I need to thank Senate President Ty Masterson and House Speaker Ron Ryckman for their leadership and hard work to fast-track this bill. An opportunity like this was an all-hands-on-deck effort, and they worked with us to get this done.”

This economic development bill could help Kansas land the biggest private sector investment in the state’s history. The current project would bring 4,000 new jobs to Kansas and inject $4 billion in business investment into the Kansas economy.

“Passage of APEX shows there is strong bipartisan support to put Kansas on the national stage for economic development,” Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “The APEX bill gives us a realistic shot at winning large economic development projects that will bring huge business investment and job creation to our state. We are excited about our chances with the current prospect that would be transformative for our state and deliver long lasting benefits to Kansas. Thank you to Governor Kelly and the Legislature – and especially Senate President Masterson, House Speaker Ryckman, Chairwoman Erickson and Chairman Tarwater – for this commitment to strengthening our economic development toolkit and making Kansas even more of a force to be reckoned with.”

Here’s what they’re saying:

“The Attracting Powerful Economic Expansion (APEX) Act creates a needed economic development incentive that will help the State of Kansas win megaprojects that attract talented individuals to our state, create thousands of jobs, invest hundreds of millions of dollars in capital expenditures, and grow our economy. Thank you to Governor Kelly, Lieutenant Governor Toland, the Kansas Department of Commerce, legislative leadership, and the entire Kansas Legislature for this investment in the business community.”

– John Rolfe, President and CEO of the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce

“Passage of the APEX bill provides an opportunity for Kansas and Kansas communities to be competitive locations for transformative economic development projects. While the impetus for APEX is an exciting opportunity that exists in the here and now, this legislation provides a tool that allows Kansas to be in the mix for future projects that will help drive our economy for a generation.”

– Steve Kelly, Vice President of Economic Development at The Chamber of Lawrence 

“The passage of APEX is a win for communities across Kansas. I’m pleased to see legislators and the governor push this bill past the finish line, as it is bound to result in positive economic returns for our state and local economies. It’s time to show the nation that Kansas is ready to compete at a new, unprecedented level.”

– Curtis Sneden, president of the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce

“Economic development is a highly competitive endeavor, pitting Kansas not just against other states, but other countries. The APEX legislation allows Kansas to compete for projects that can diversify and transform our economy. Projects that qualify for APEX incentives can provide workers with new, up-skilled options and also give our students opportunities to pursue high-tech careers in Kansas instead of other states.”

 Tracey Osborne Oltjen, President and CEO of the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce 

“The ability to set partisanship aside for the greater good of the State of Kansas is a true testament of leadership and commitment from Governor Kelly, Lieutenant Governor Toland, Senate President Masterson, House Speaker Ryckman and all of the legislative leaders. There’s much work yet to do, but we are now in a position to truly compete for this generational economic development attraction opportunity.”

– Tim Cowden, President and CEO of the Kansas City Area Development Council

“The brain drain problem in our state is real, and this legislation takes proactive steps to attract emerging industries that will make our young people want to stay in Kansas and give them the jobs and opportunities they need to make that attainable. Our state needs to stay competitive to grow, and APEX will ensure that we cannot be counted out for projects that would transform our state for years to come.”

– Dinah Sykes, Senate Democratic Leader

“This is an enormous opportunity for Kansas. Bringing new industry to the state ensures Kansas continues to evolve with the shifting needs of the economy. I’m excited to see how this further develops our workforce and keeps college graduates in Kansas.”

– Tom Sawyer, House Democratic Leader

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