Gov. Beshear talks about unemployment benefits in first ‘Team Kentucky Update’

Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 12:37 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - Gov. Andy Beshear held a news conference Thursday, his first since ending his regularly scheduled COVID briefings last week.

Among the most anticipated topics the governor addressed were employment incentives and the extra $300 a week in unemployment benefits.

You can watch it below:

Some employers and economic leaders are asking for federal benefits to end.

Federal benefits are expected to end in September, but some say it cannot wait until then and more incentives are required to get people back to work.

Last week, the governor told us there are a lot of benefits to the state’s economy for keeping that $300 flowing.

“These benefits, right now, put about $34 million a week into Kentucky’s economy,” Gov. Beshear said during his final COVID-19 briefing last week. “The number one place they’re spent are grocery stores. But they’re also spent at restaurants and retail, two areas that have been hit so hard in this pandemic. So, if we’re not smart about our approach, if we don’t thread the needle over the coming months, we’re gonna see the same businesses that may have been hurt the most, take another hit, and that’s not right.”

During Thursday’s update, Gov. Beshear said major issues, including child care, are behind keeping the extra $300 weekly unemployment benefit. Though he admits it is a “complicated” issue.

A number of states, including Arizona and Tennessee, have already either stopped or will stop federal benefits before September.

The governor also announced Thursday that the Kentucky Capitol will reopen on July 1st.

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