Senate Bill 347 Could Benefit Kansas Economy

TOPEKA, Kan. – Senate Bill 347 would enact the Attracting Powerful Economic Expansion Act, potentially bringing $4 billion in investment and more than 4,000 jobs to the state of Kansas, according to Gov. Laura Kelly and Lt. Gov. David Toland.

“The impact on the economy, on Kansas, is huge and long term,” Kelly said.

Kelly and Toland say passing this bill would bring the biggest private sector investment to Kansas in its history.

“The $4 billion is the initial capital investment of the company, but what will also happen is that each year we will see $2.5 billion in economic activity generated by this particular company. “, said Kelly.

According to Kelly and Toland, the need to pass this bill comes as Kansas is a finalist to become the headquarters of the yet-to-be-named private sector company’s manufacturing plant, which would bring thousands of jobs and income to surrounding communities.

“In addition to the 4,000 jobs that come with this venture, 16,000 temporary jobs will be created during the construction phase of this, and so that means more heads and beds in our hotels, RV parks,” he said. said Toland. means restaurants that will gain much-needed new revenue as they recover from the economic effects of COVID-19. »

Not only could the passage of Senate Bill 347 create thousands of jobs, Kelly expects the bill to bring back many engineers.

“There will be opportunities for engineers here. You know Kansas has invested millions of dollars in expanding our engineering schools, Wichita State, KU, K-State,” Kelly said. “We’ve been educating these people for a long time, and unfortunately the jobs for they are here and we lost them out of state. That will stop this leak.”

Kelly says she is aware that some lawmakers might disagree with the bill, but is working to change that, adding that this bill will reduce the tax burden on Kansans.

“We don’t want to raise taxes, we haven’t raised taxes. And by bringing those businesses and those jobs to our state, we will expand that tax base…” Kelly said. “Taxpayer money, which is what you use for these incentives, has been poured in, and in return we’ve built in safeguards so that money doesn’t come out until the project is delivered, that it’s jobs or investment capital.”

The governor and lieutenant governor hope lawmakers will see the benefits APEX could have statewide.

“I can’t think of a downside other than the pressure it’s going to put on us to really have the infrastructure to train that workforce to find housing for the workforce,” said Kelly.

Toland noted that the bill was intentionally crafted based on lessons from other states about what works and what doesn’t.

“…We think we have a bill that can really be a model and will make this happen for the people of Kansas,” he said.

As of now, the bill has already passed the Senate and now needs to pass the House of Representatives.

Kelly tells KSHB 41 News that she hopes lawmakers will get the bill on her desk no later than Tuesday or noon Wednesday at the latest.

Norman D. Briggs