Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law today legislation aimed at creating job opportunities for Kansans with disabilities.
House Bill 2453 (formerly HB 2442 and SB 444) will establish preferences to award state contracts to certified businesses if their bids are no more than 10 percent higher than the most competitive bid. Businesses would be certified by the Kansas Department of Administration to ensure they meet the following criteria:
• Do business primarily in Kansas.
• Employ at least 20 percent of full-time employees in Kansas that are individuals with disabilities.
• Contribute at least 75 percent of the total health insurance premium cost for all employees.
Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer led the Brownback Administration’s efforts to gain legislative approval for the bill.
“The policies in HB 2453 will build paths to independence for persons with disabilities that do not exist today,” Colyer said. “When we traveled throughout Kansas listening to Kansans’ ideas on Medicaid reform, one consistent theme was the need for more work opportunities for persons with disabilities. Studies consistently show that those with disabilities who work lead happier and healthier lives. HB 2453 and other disability employment initiatives will assist in supporting Kansans with disabilities to live more productive, healthier and independent lives.”
Colyer led a working group with members of the Governor’s Cabinet to fundamentally reform the state’s Medicaid system to improve consumer outcomes while controlling costs of the program. One component of the Brownback Administration’s effort to reform Medicaid is to create “off-ramps” for long-term Medicaid consumers. Most long-term Medicaid consumers are individuals with disabilities.