News Release: Gov. Kelly signs bill creating job opportunities for Kansans with disabilities

Governor Laura Kelly celebrating with group signing HB 2044 into law.
– Gov. Laura Kelly signed a piece of legislation into law Tuesday geared toward creating more job opportunities for people with disabilities through a state tax credit for employers to hire from this historically overlooked group.

House Bill 2044 establishes an income tax credit equivalent to 15% of a private sector business’ expenditures if they are purchased from nonprofit-eligible businesses. These nonprofit employers must meet three primary criteria: 1) 30% of its employee count is made up of individuals with disabilities; 2) the nonprofit contributes 75% of the cost of employees’ health insurance premium; and 3) the nonprofit employer pays minimum wage or higher.

“We believe this opens up a window to disability providers who may be seeking an employment model beyond traditional work centers,” said Patrick Jonas, CPRF President & CEO. “This bill provides more robust opportunities for Kansans with disabilities seeking integrated, competitive employment.”

CPRF was instrumental in researching, conceptualizing, proposing, and advocating for this bill, which had overwhelming bipartisan support in both the House (115-1) and Senate (37-1).

“The passage of House Bill 2044 was truly a team effort of advocates, providers, and legislators,” said Patrick Terick, CPRF Director of Governmental Activities. “To be placed on the consent calendar on both the House and Senate was truly amazing. We believe this bill will have not only statewide, but national significance.”

Governor Kelly signed the bill into law on Tuesday, with the tax credit beginning this year.

“First and foremost, we thank Governor Kelly, Kansas House and Senate Members, and the many disability providers and advocates who supported this initiative and who truly understand the value of promoting competitive employment opportunities for those with disabilities in Kansas,” said Jonas.