Friday, January 28, 2022

Play

The Indiana House passes a controversial bill barring schools from teaching about Critical Race Theory; and President Biden pledges to place a Black woman on the Supreme Court for the first time.

Play

Justice Stephen Breyer formally announces his retirement; the Dept. of Education will help students who fell behind during the pandemic; and AZ lawmakers consider a bill granting them control over elections.

Play

Free COVID tests by mail but some rural Americans need to go the extra mile; farmer storytellers join national campaign to battle corporate consolidation; specialty nurses want more authority; and rare bat gets credit for the mythic margarita.

KY Passing Up Feds' $90 Million Bonus Bucks for Jobless Workers?

Play

Monday, February 14, 2011   

BEREA, Ky. - The state's safety net for jobless workers could reel in more federal bucks for the cause, but only if Kentucky modernizes its unemployment insurance system before an August deadline. A report by the newly-formed Kentucky Center for Economic Policy (KCEP) finds the state will forfeit a $90 million federal incentive, unless it updates eligibility rules for unemployment.

Center Director Jason Bailey says 38 other states have already accessed at least part of their federal Recovery Act money by updating their systems to better reflect today's labor market.

"This is an opportunity to access much-needed money at a time of high unemployment, and to also assure that workers whose employers are now paying into the system but can't access benefits are able to do so."

Kentucky's jobless rate is at 10.3 percent, the eighth-highest in the nation, and the state has borrowed close to a billion dollars from the federal government to shore up the unemployment insurance trust fund. Last year, Kentucky passed legislation to make the fund whole over time without raising unemployment taxes on businesses. But, so far, policymakers have not presented a plan to modernize the system's eligibility rules.

According to the report, many other states that borrowed federal money modernized their unemployment insurance programs at the same time. Bailey says the updates make the system align better with many workers' new realities.

"Those include part-time work, high-turnover jobs, situations where people are having to leave their job because they have a spouse that moves or they have a sick family member, or they're a victim of domestic violence."

Bailey calls the state's existing eligibility system a relic from a bygone era of paper processing and significant delays. The result, he says, is a rejection of those most in need of jobless benefits.

"A lot of workers, particularly those who are in high-turnover jobs - and those tend to be low-wage workers - don't qualify for that reason."

Bailey says only one in four out-of-work Kentuckians collects state jobless benefits, ranking Kentucky near the bottom of states that financially assist the unemployed.

The KCEP report is online at www.kypolicy.org




get more stories like this via email

Solar energy would have been used to replace carbon-based power sources under Arizona's proposed clean-energy plan. (andreiorlov/Adobe Stock)

Environment

Frustrated environmental and clean-energy advocates say after four long years of debate and compromise, regulators sent Arizona back to the starting …


Social Issues

When North Dakotans head out to cast their ballots later this year, there is a chance some will do so in a voting center and not a designated …

Health and Wellness

Washington state lawmakers are considering a measure to limit the growing cost of prescription drugs. Senate Bill 5532 would establish a …


The rural and forested Pennsylvania Wilds are home to lots of wildlife species, including elk, white-tailed deer, bobcat and black bear. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

The Maryland Air National Guard is considering a proposal to establish airspace where military planes would fly as low as 100 feet over the Pennsylvan…

Environment

The state of Illinois is allocating nearly a quarter-billion dollars to support new downstate transit and ports projects. Roughly half will go …

Drug overdose deaths topped more than 100,000 in 2021, according to the CDC. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Advocates and faith groups are calling for more investments in harm reduction across the state, as new provisional data shows overdose deaths have …

Social Issues

More than 300 Kentucky farmers participated in the state's Farms to Food Banks program last year, and at a recent virtual rally, state officials said …

Social Issues

Farmers and ranchers in Montana and across the nation are calling on Congress to pass the American Beef Labeling Act. Most food is required to have …

 

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