Gov. Beshear: Kentucky faces $1.1 billion budget shortfall without more federal relief

Posted at 10:53 PM, Jul 01, 2020

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Gov. Andy Beshear has warned the commonwealth may face some of the largest cuts in history if more federal relief is not approved by congress.

At his briefing Tuesday, Gov. Beshear said Kentucky faces a $1.1 billion budget shortfall in the next fiscal year and cuts between 16 to 29 percent if more federal funding during the response to coronavirus is not approved.

"We need it sooner rather than later," Gov. Beshear said. "We're starting our fiscal year in July, we need some certainty on it."

Senate Majority Mitch McConnell said Friday he would take a close look at the country's economy this month and determine what relief may be needed. A new relief bill would need to include liability protections for businesses, hospitals and more, he said.

The CARES Act, passed in March, expanded unemployment insurance benefits, provided stimulus checks to eligible Americans and provided funding to states like Kentucky.

Gov. Beshear said without additional funding, cuts to unemployment insurance, social services and education are likely in Kentucky.

"We just need certainty about where congress is going and this is just a necessity," Beshear said. "It's not a red state, blue state. We are all in so much trouble if congress doesn't provide the needed aid."