(LEX 18) — Advocates are concerned about Kentuckians who will no longer receive extra SNAP benefits, now that the COVID-19 State of Emergency has ended.
State Republicans voted to end the emergency this past week, eliminating the ability for Kentuckians to receive additional federal SNAP benefits. The program helps people with little or no money purchase food for healthy meals.
Governor Beshear said before the Republicans passed the measure that doing so would impact about 500,000 people in Kentucky, calling it a “cruel bill.
“I do not understand what we have to gain by preventing federal money coming in here to help vulnerable citizens,” said Ben Chandler, the President of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.
Senate Republicans say now is the right time to end the State of Emergency.
“Continuing to operate under a false emergency for the sake of pulling down federal dollars is simply fraudulent and unethical,” said Senate President Robert Stivers.
His Republican colleagues have said there are actions governor Beshear could take to keep the benefits going that doesn't involve the State of Emergency remaining in effect.
“If they are going to allow the governor to say he can extend the benefits and say he should do it, why do they need to pass the bill anyway,” Chandler responded saying.
The additional benefits were set to expire on their own in about three weeks, Chandler said, explaining it was still worth it to keep the benefits around for all the good they could do in that time.