Governor says extra SNAP benefits would end without COVID state of emergency

Governor says extra SNAP benefits would end without COVID state of emergency
Published: Mar. 14, 2022 at 11:02 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - It’s been two years since Governor Andy Beshear declared a COVID state of emergency.

Republican-led legislation has set an end-date, but the governor is concerned about SNAP benefits he says Kentuckians will now lose.

“If we don’t have these extra benefits, we are providing less in terms of how much food people can get,” Beshear said.

Monday, the governor argued a resolution that would end the emergency and would cut off $50 million in SNAP benefits. Republican leaders said that is not the case.

“We have been told that this has nothing to do with the emergency declaration. That those extended SNAP benefits can come through request of CHFS, Secretary Freelander, and go back to continue those,” Senate President Robert Stivers said.

In January, the governor signed a bill that ends the state of emergency on April 14. The recent resolution passed last week.

Stivers said Republican leaders have not heard from the governor about his concerns over the benefits.

“The reason we did this so far in advance was to give the governor the ability to reach out to us and respond to us, and he hasn’t except for press conferences and communicate through the press,” Stivers said.

The governor saying he’s had conversations about this issue.

“It’s been really clear in all of the discussions that if the state of emergency isn’t extended, the SNAP benefits end. That’s been a part of every negotiation we’ve been in. Certainly, all of those that we have been negotiating with understood that, and it was directly in front of them,” Beshear said.

Governor Beshear indicated he would veto the resolution. House and Senate Republicans have the super majority to override it.

Stivers said resolution 150 states the General Assembly has no intent to “impair or delay the ability of the commonwealth to receive any federal stimulus or pandemic-related funds or services.”

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