FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Gov. Andy Beshear says Kentucky will be left in a tough spot if congress does not pass further coronavirus relief by the end of the year.
That's when the state is required to allocate the CARES Act funding it has received so far, and Gov. Beshear said without more aid, there would be no additional help for restaurants, those who have received unemployment benefits or the state's contact tracing and testing efforts.
"It seems that both parties in D.C. believe that it's critical but just have gotten to a point where they can't seem to even agree to help people together," he said at his COVID-19 briefing Tuesday.
On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he had been in talks with the White House about a potential relief bill.
"I like to remind everybody that the way you get a result is you have to have a presidential signature," Senator McConnell said, "So I felt the first thing we needed to do is to find out what the president would in fact sign."
With just a few weeks before the end of the year, he said there was no time to waste.
"Waiting till next year is not an answer," he said. "We need a targeted relief bill including things that we can agree on."
Gov. Beshear said the state would try its best to address the need within Kentucky, but he said the latest state budget won't take effect until July 1.
He has called on targeted help for small businesses effected by the pandemic. The state has set up a $40 million fund to assist bars and restaurants that have had to close to indoor service under the latest round of restrictions.
But each restaurant can only qualify for up to $10,000.
"I know that $10,000 isn't anywhere close to making you whole, but let's at least get these dollars out to help in the way that they can," he said.
Applications from bars and restaurants for assistance can be submitted here.