NewsCovering Kentucky


Beshear talks unemployment, federal aid in interview with new LEX 18 main co-anchor Larry Smith

Posted at 3:50 PM, Dec 08, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Gov. Andy Beshear on Tuesday urged the federal government to pass another stimulus bill, saying that a failure to assist the American people in a time they need it most would be "malpractice"

In his first appearance as LEX 18's new main co-anchor, Larry Smith sat down for a virtual interview to discuss stimulus, unemployment, and other issues affecting Kentuckians.

Is there a relief package in the works for small businesses?

The question is do we want this recession to be short-lived – because it was created by this virus – or do we want it to be a longer struggle than it has to be," Beshear said in regard to a new stimulus package. "Now is the time when so many people need it. And for the federal government not to do it I think would be malpractice."

The holidays are quickly approaching, and for many Kentuckians, unemployment benefits have been slow to arrive. Smith took several of those complaints to the governor in their conversation Tuesday.

longer talking about unemployment

"This system was created by the federal government to tell people 'no' and to be really difficult going forward," Beshear said. "So some people, we’ve gotten through the initial phase. But every couple of weeks, they’ve gotta go online and answer some questions designed – I believe – so the federal government can say 'no.' Well, we’re in a place right now where we need to tell people 'yes' So, as we’re sitting here today, a higher percentage of people have been approved for unemployment in Kentucky during the pandemic than before. But with the volume, there are still a lot of people that we haven’t gotten to and it’s unacceptable."

Beshear also discussed the success of Kentucky's election process last month, including his partnership with Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams.

election success

"Isn’t it amazing what can happen when people put their parties aside and come together and realize that number one - elections are critically important – they’re the bedrock of our democracy, and number two – we’re in the middle of a pandemic, so let’s sit down and create the best plan we can," Beshear said.

Smith's full interview with Beshear will air Tuesday on LEX 18's evening edition beginning at 5 p.m.