Gov. Andy Beshear’s Unemployment Scandal is a National Embarrassment

By Kentucky State Senators Rick Girdler, Paul Hornback, Damon Thayer and Max Wise

a direct result of Gov. Andy Beshear’s shutdown orders, nearly half of
Kentucky’s workforce has filed for unemployment insurance since March.
As we reach the end of June, tens of thousands of Kentuckians who have
filed jobless claims still have yet to receive the money they were
promised and have earned.

of these claims date back to March, just as Governor Beshear began
shutting our economy down. The governor issued stay-at-home orders in
March, knowing full well and even admitting that his policies were going
to hemorrhage jobs across the Commonwealth.

and many of our fellow lawmakers were and remain today supporters of
early emergency response measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus —
such as practicing social distancing, avoiding unnecessary gatherings
and more. We also worked in a bipartisan way to enact much-needed relief
for Kentucky’s families, businesses and communities.

the Governor gave his first coronavirus briefing in March and has made
time for hundreds of hours of press conferences filled with platitudes,
and even song and dance. Yet his administration’s handling of the crisis
grows worse almost daily.

nearly one million Kentuckians jobless as a result of the Governor’s
orders, and tens of thousands of these people in need still lacking the
benefits they were promised, it would be reasonable to expect the
administration to act swiftly to fix the problem.

the Governor and his administration continue to drag their feet and
fail time and time again, turning Kentucky’s massive backlog of
unemployment insurance claims into a national embarrassment. Hundreds of
Kentuckians awaiting jobless benefits — many since the crisis began in
March — even had to travel to Frankfort from all around the state to
fight for their claims.

families are struggling to make ends meet — especially when the
Governor’s orders put them out of work in the first place — the last
thing they should have to do is put the family in the car, drive for
hours and stand out in the hot sun to demand the Governor and his
administration act.

and time again, while families in need still suffer, the Governor
offers excuse after excuse from bureaucrats and politicians in his
administration — but far too little action to end the unemployment
backlog. On June 24, more than a week after citizens began gathering in
Frankfort to fight for their unemployment insurance benefits — Governor
Beshear finally announced a schedule of in-person service in communities
around the state.

in some communities, this schedule won’t even start until after the
Independence Day holiday — even though some families don’t have the
luxury of time when it comes to paying their bills.

who have been out of work for weeks and months on end can’t afford his
inaction and excuses any longer. Governor Andy Beshear needs to correct
this national embarrassment and do whatever it takes to get the people
he put out of work the unemployment insurance benefits they were
promised in the first place.

Rick Girdler represents District 15, which includes Boyle, Lincoln and
Pulaski Counties. Senator Paul Hornback represents District 20, which
includes Carroll, Henry, Shelby and Trimble Counties and part of
Jefferson County. Senator Damon Thayer represents District 17, which
includes Grant and Scott Counties and part of Kenton County. Senator Max
Wise represents District 16, which includes Adair, Clinton, Cumberland,
McCreary, Russell, Taylor and Wayne Counties.

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