Experts worry about bleak winter as state aid programs begin to run out

Posted at 4:48 PM, Nov 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-26 16:48:57-05

Experts worry that the end of the holiday season will look bleak in Kentucky as several coronavirus aid programs run out soon.

"There are several different unemployment insurance programs that end the day after Christmas, and that means over 100,000 Kentuckians would then lose that unemployment assistance," said Jessica Klein, a policy associate at KyPolicy.

On top of that, several assistance programs that have helped people survive the pandemic are also ending.

"At the same time, cases are increasing, and rent is coming due, utility assistance would be gone, and our eviction moratorium ends, which puts people in a bad place in terms of finding housing," said Klein.

Congress could help by passing a second relief bill, but so far, negotiations haven't resulted in a deal. But experts urge lawmakers to strike a deal and pass a robust bill soon.

"Jobs aren't just going to come back, you know," said Klein. "It's not like January 1st, we're going to see a ton of jobs, so this support is really needed before then, and that means before December ends, we really need to see this relief."

"We need Congress to negotiate and come up with a robust plan," said Klein. "We need that robust relief that can support Kentuckians, and what that looks like is providing state and local governments with the support that they need and they can then provide some of the flexible assistance, like that rental assistance that we saw."