Beshear: Republicans refuse to meet to discuss essential worker bonuses

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says his plan to provide bonuses to essential workers got a chilly reception from Republican legislative leaders.

The governor has proposed using $400 million of the state’s stimulus money to provide bonuses to essential workers who have stayed on the job throughout the pandemic.

In a letter sent 11 days ago, the governor asked Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate to nominate members to a working group to hammer out the details of who would get the bonuses and how much they would be. But during his coronavirus briefing on Monday, Beshear said Republicans responded by saying, “No thanks.”

“I believe strongly that our people who have worked almost two years through this pandemic deserve appreciation, deserve encouragement, deserve an ‘attaboy’ and ‘attagirl,’ and this could be an incentive for people to hold on,” Beshear said.

The governor says he still plans to work with those members of the legislature who are willing to work with him.