Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Play

The latest on the PRO Act, which could bring major changes to labor law, especially in "right-to-work" states; and COVID spikes result in new mandates.

Play

Travel restrictions are extended as Delta variant surges; some public-sector employers will mandate vaccines; President Biden says long-haul COVID could be considered a disability; and western wildfires rage.

Experts Say Prematurely Ending Federal UI Could Harm KY Economy

Play

Monday, June 7, 2021   

FRANKFORT, Ky. - More than twenty states are voluntarily ending their participation in a federal unemployment program, but Gov. Andy Beshear says he's not ready to do that yet.

Experts say prematurely ending the extra $300 a week authorized by the American Rescue Plan could harm Kentucky families and the economy. The extra pay is slated to expire on September 6.

Dustin Pugel, senior policy analyst with the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy pointed out the money has helped gig workers, independent contractors, and other workers left out of the system.

"Unemployment insurance hasn't been meaningfully changed since it was created 80 years ago," said Pugel, "in terms of its function and who it serves."

Beshear has he said would consider ending the extra benefits before the fall.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell - R-Louisville - and others have called for immediately ending participation the program, arguing the extra money is preventing people from seeking employment and harming businesses who need workers.

Pugel added the benefit has brought almost $4 billion into Kentucky since the start of the pandemic.

"And since the $300 benefit was reinstated it's brought in $360 million," said Pugel. "And I credit this benefit in large part to ensuring that we didn't have an even worse employment situation."

And while critics say the program disincentivizes people from seeking work, Pugel says the data indicates otherwise.

"But we're seeking the exact opposite," said Pugel,. "Leisure and hospitality accommodation and food services, they really rebounded incredibly compared to how many jobs they lost."

He says that if Kentucky were to get rid of the $300 a week in benefits it would cost the state an estimated $229 million.





Disclosure: Kentucky Center for Economic Policy contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Criminal Justice, Education, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Smoke from the Bootleg fire in southern Oregon is blowing across Idaho and as far east as New York. (National Interagency Fire Center/Flickr)

Environment

BOISE, Idaho -- Wildfires are affecting air quality across the West, bringing hidden dangers in smoke that can harm people's health. The Boise-based …


Social Issues

DENVER -- The days of exponentially high increases in health-insurance costs may finally be in the rearview mirror. The Colorado Division of …

Social Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Cultural institutions in the U.S. are facing scrutiny to be more accessible and inclusive. The organization in charge of Iowa's …


Electrifying heat pumps are key to lowering the carbon cost of buildings. (SkyLine/Adobe Stock)

Environment

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- Last month's deadly heat wave in the Northwest underscored the need to reduce carbon emissions, but advocates want to ensure low-…

Social Issues

MINOT, N.D. -- Many arguments are being floated about legislation before Congress that would bring big changes to U.S. labor laws. The bill has its …

Studies show Medicaid expansion could reduce costs for Missouri's health-care system as a whole, by getting more patients preventive care, which is less expensive than emergency care. (torwaiphoto/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Health-care advocates called on Missouri lawmakers to allocate funds for Medicaid expansion right away, after the state …

Social Issues

AUGUSTA, Maine -- School meals in Maine will be free for all students again this year and into the future, but parents are being urged to fill out …

Environment

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A report outlines how federal efforts to bring solar energy to one in four American households could bring clean energy to …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021