Legislation merging two Kentucky cabinets moves to full House

In November, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced plans to merge Kentucky’s Education and Workforce Development Cabinet and Labor Cabinet in an effort to improve the delivery unemployment insurance benefits.

Legislation to approve that merger was approved by the House Economic Development and Workforce Investment Committee Thursday morning.

Senate Bill 180, sponsored by Sen. Mike Nemes, would put the merging of the two cabinets into statute as Beshear’s executive order required legislative approval.

Services of both entities would continue as is in many ways but the cabinets would have combined administrative functions. And the bill passed with a committee substitute presented by Rep. Nima Kulkarni changing the effective date to July 1 to coincide with the start of the fiscal year and including an emergency clause.

When the governor announced the plan, he appointed current Labor Cabinet Secretary Jamie Link to head the newly merged Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet, with Interim Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Mary Pat Regan and current Labor Cabinet Deputy Secretary Vickie Wise both serving as deputy secretaries under Link.

Senate Bill 180 now moves to the full House for consideration before going back to the Senate for likely concurrence.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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