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Is a statewide relief bill an option?

Posted at 5:59 PM, Dec 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-02 17:59:40-05

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — As Congress continues to argue over a second coronavirus relief bill, many people and businesses in Kentucky hope to receive some financial help.

But what happens if Congress can't get a deal done? Is there something Kentucky's state lawmakers can do instead?

LEX 18 asked Republican and Democratic leaders if a state relief bill is a possibility. Republican leaders said providing financial assistance would be difficult to do.

"We don't have the ability to print money like the federal government does. We have to live within our budget, which is increasingly difficult to balance right now," said House Speaker David Osborne. "So, I think our opportunities along those lines are very limited. I do think there are some things we can do along the lines of liability relief, regulatory relief - some things like that may very well help businesses hang on."

Democrats in leadership say they're open to the idea of a relief measure.

"We should be looking at 'Could we do some type of relief package for small businesses?' I think all those things are possible. I don't have any specifics at this point, but I'm very hopeful that Congress will act," said House Minority Leader Joni Jenkins. "But I do think it is incumbent on us during this next session to look at if there are areas where we could give some relief to small businesses."