Beshear proposes spending nearly $50 million to help fix Kentucky’s unemployment system

Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 12:16 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Governor Andy Beshear wants to focus on the state’s unemployment issues.

In his State of the Commonwealth Address, Beshear proposed spending nearly $50 million to help fix the system.

Governor Beshear said he’ll be using hundreds of millions of dollars in federal money to help pay for the things he’s outlined in his budget proposal. That includes almost $48 million to update the state’s unemployment system.

The governor said too many people have waited too long for their payments after losing their jobs. He also wants to have additional direct payments of $1,000 to almost 24,000 Kentuckians.

These are people who he says have filed, and qualified, for payments but haven’t received them.

Beshear said the pandemic showed how badly that system needs to be updated.

“In the years leading up to the pandemic, previous administrations and previous sessions had closed in-person services and cut 95 skilled employees from UI. The UI budget was further slashed by $16 million. This coupled with a once in a lifetime 1300% year-over-year increase in claims meant many Kentuckians have had to wait far too long during a difficult time for their payments. This is the help they are owed and it’s what they deserve,” Beshear said.

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