Kansas lawmakers hope for number on unemployment fraud cost

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Kansas lawmakers hope that a legislative audit to be released later this week will provide an estimate of how much the state has paid out in fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. Republicans in the Legislature remained frustrated Monday with the lack of an estimate from the state Department of Labor for the potential cost of bogus unemployment claims. Their focus on potential fraud has intensified in recent weeks. The Legislature’s nonpartisan auditing division plans on Wednesday to release a reports on problems at the department. Republican Rep. Kristey Williams of Augusta said lawmakers expect to get “a good baseline” in assessing fraud.