A new state-run unemployment insurance program that covers more than 20 million people in Kentucky could be slashed as a result of a Republican-controlled Legislature.
Matt Bevin said Monday that a bill that he signed last week to help the state pay for unemployment insurance will be amended to reduce eligibility by 30,000 people, including those who earn less than $25,000 a year.
Bevin said the reduction is in response to “federal budget constraints.”
The governor said the unemployment insurance cut was “part of a broader budget package that includes a number of steps designed to help Kentucky meet the challenges we face.”
He said the state is now at a “high-water mark” in terms of job growth and unemployment, which is in part due to a recent recession.
“We are in the midst of a record number of people looking for work, and I have seen our economy grow by about 50 percent since this budget was enacted,” Bevin told reporters.
“So, we’re at a high-water point.”
He added that he expects unemployment to drop to 5.6 percent by the end of the year.
The budget cut comes after a series of GOP budget bills were passed in the past year, including one that reduced funding for the state’s unemployment insurance and unemployment insurance programs.
Bevin signed the budget bill last week.
The Senate approved the budget package, but it’s not yet law in the House.
The House is expected to vote on the legislation this week.