Groups call on Beshear to use federal funds to help fix state’s empty unemployment insurance fund

As the state continues to see record highs in unemployment and more benefits being drawn in the wake of the pandemic, a letter was sent to Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear on Tuesday asking him to use funding from federal legislation to help shore up the state’s fund for those benefits.

In light of the governor’s recent announcement to use approximately $24 million in CARES Act monies to go toward funding an additional $100 per week in unemployment benefits, groups from across the state asked him to consider taking similar action to start replenishing Kentucky’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund, which currently has a balance of $0.

The letter, penned by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Kentucky Distillers’ Association, Kentucky School Boards Association, Greater Louisville Inc., Commerce Lexington, and many others, noted while the groups understand the need to provide additional benefits to those who have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic, Kentucky employers face a huge financial hit starting in 2021 in order to pay back the loan and replenish the fund which could force some to shut their doors for good.

“The business community has made some significant sacrifices to temporarily halt operations, comply with new safety standards and, in some cases, completely shut down in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. Employers across the state are hurting, and when we place an additional financial burden on them to pay for the layoffs created by the pandemic, we only make it more difficult for them to rebound, thus making it harder for them to hire hard-working Kentuckians,” the groups said in the letter.

Read the full letter here.

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