Kansas Seeks $6.5 Million to Fund DOL Wage Rule

The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) has submitted a request for $6.5 million in funding to cover costs associated with the recently implemented federal rules extending minimum wage and overtime protections to home care workers.

The request comes after state officials previously claimed the budget for their Medicaid program doesn’t account for the $12 million needed to increase home care workers’ wages, which could mean a reduction in services. Kansas is one of eight states that sought to block the Department of Labor’s rules that remove an exemption in federal minimum wage and overtime laws for home care workers employed by third-party agencies.

KDADS officials confirmed they asked Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration for the supplemental funding, according to the Heartland Health Monitor.

The provisions took effect Oct. 13 after the Supreme Court blocked an emergency request from three home care industry trade groups that claimed the rules threaten home care agencies, but the DOL won’t actively enforce them until Nov. 12, with full enforcement beginning Jan. 1. Their implementation has sparked mixed reactions among home care providers.

Earlier this month, the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) issued a statement that it and its co-plaintiffs are evaluating additional litigation options in the case, including petitioning the Supreme Court to hear the courts on merits while the rules are in effect.

Written by Kourtney Liepelt