TOPEKA - Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley, of Topeka, and House Democratic Leader Tom Burroughs, of Kansas City, were joined by members of the House and Senate Democratic caucuses today to unveil their priorities to grow and protect middle class Kansas families.

“Kansans First” includes a series of bills that Democratic legislators will introduce in the coming days.  The first series of proposals focus on providing fair and equal wages, preventing the export of Kansas jobs, and emphasizing the importance of fully funding T-WORKS.

“Kansas Democrats have always looked for new, constructive proposals to strengthen middle class families,” said Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley. “These proposals not only reflect the concerns of our constituents, but also our commitment  to making Kansas a place where people can prosper if they’re willing to work hard and play by the rules. That’s what ‘Kansans First’ is all about.”

Included in this package:

  • Hire Kansans First Act - Requires any contractor or subcontractor working on a state contract worth $100,000 or more annually to ensure that at least 70-percent of the contracted employees are Kansas residents.
  • Establish a Kansas Living Wage - Implements a five-year plan that increases the Kansas minimum wage by 56-percent, making it a livable wage at 200-percent of the Federal Poverty Line.
  • Reinstitute Prevailing Wage - Reinstitutes the prevailing wage statute so that hardworking Kansans receive the compensation they deserve and local units of government are not restricted by state government from recognizing the significance of this policy.

  • Unemployment Insurance for Bus Drivers - Allows private school bus drivers to be eligible for unemployment pay during summer breaks between school years.

“Even Sam Brownback’s strongest supporters admit that his tax plan has not been the ‘shot of adrenaline’ the Governor promised it would be for our economy,” said House Democratic Leader Tom Burroughs. “We simply can’t afford to waste any more time waiting for it to work. ‘Kansans First’ is a set of affordable, commonsense priorities that will protect Kansas jobs and strengthen middle class families.”


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