Kentucky governor makes pitch for more federal virus relief

(AP) — Kentucky has enough in its unemployment insurance trust fund
until summer to meet the unprecedented demand for benefits but will
eventually need a cash infusion, Gov. Andy Beshear said Wednesday in
urging another round of federal assistance to states.

In a Facebook Live interview with the Courier Journal, Beshear also stressed the importance of wearing masks as Kentuckians venture out more as the economy starts reopening.

state’s unemployment trust fund has gone through massive amounts of
money as record numbers of Kentuckians request jobless assistance during
the coronavirus pandemic.

said the state is committed to assisting everyone in need as it
gradually kick-starts commerce in a strategic way that seeks to avoid a
resurgence of virus cases, Beshear said.

believe that we certainly have enough in the fund until the end of
spring, and in fact … at least part of the summer,” Beshear said. “But
like every other state, we are waiting on the federal government for
the next CARES Act legislation. No state can get through this crisis
without direct budgetary aid.”

direct assistance to shore up the trust fund, Kentucky will have to
borrow from the federal government, as it did during the 2008-09

The Democratic-led U.S. House is planning to take up a relief package
that provides nearly $1 trillion to states and cities. Republicans in
charge of the Senate are wary of another round of aid. Senate Majority
Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, will be at the center of

Beshear warned the recession will last longer with another infusion of federal assistance.

disappointing to see in D.C. the same old kind of back-and-forth and
horse-trading going on when this is a time of national crisis,” the
Democratic governor said. “Where every state and local government in the
country needs help to make sure that we can get our economy up and

Beshear acknowledged that some Kentuckians “kind of struggle” with
being asked to wear masks in public. But he stressed the need to do so
as the economy reboots.

“Is it fun? No,” he said in wrapping up the social media interview with the Louisville newspaper. “Is it uncomfortable? Yes. But does it protect the people around you? Absolutely.”

McConnell announced Wednesday that Kentucky received nearly $98 million
to increase coronavirus testing. The funding stems from congressional
action to combat the pandemic. Kentucky has ramped up testing as it
gradually reopens more of the economy.

the availability of testing is one of the best ways to slow the spread
of the coronavirus and keep Kentucky families safe,” McConnell said in a

most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such
as fever and cough that clear up within weeks. For some, especially
older adults and those with existing health problems, it can cause more
severe illness, even death.

Source: Mountain Top