FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - Gov. Andy Beshear understands that this is his problem to fix now and is working every day to do so. He is doing so with tenacity and transparency, because our top priority will always be improving the lives of every Kentucky family – no matter what it takes.
This month, the Governor hired the respected firm Ernst & Young to bring in an additional 300 people to process outstanding claims. This move will use Federal CARES funding and save more than $15 million that would have been associated with long-term personnel and processing costs.
The Governor also is taking steps to replace the system’s 20-year-old technology used to process claims. He has returned the Office of Unemployment Insurance to the Labor Cabinet, added roughly 60 more in-house employees and asked the Labor Secretary to oversee the office.
He restarted in-person services ended by the previous administration. Processors are working with Kentuckians in person daily in Frankfort, have been in Owensboro, Ashland, Somerset, Hopkinsville, Prestonsburg and Covington, and we will continue to add in-person services in counties throughout Kentucky.
This will cut down on long driving distances for folks who want to resolve claims in person, but will better protect Kentuckians during the COVID-19 pandemic by limiting travel as much as we can.
Finally, we have committed to regularly reevaluating the system and addressing issues as they arise to prevent additional stress on our families.
This year, COVID-19 and a dismantled unemployment system combined to create the perfect storm where some Kentuckians have had to wait far too long for assistance.
This administration will take every step necessary to ensure a problem like this never happens again.
And as we take steps to rebuild the office and system, I hope everyone sees the unemployment system is invaluable to Kentuckians and works with us to build a more efficient and effective system.
Gov. Beshear knows our fellow Kentuckians need this help right now and he is taking action and demanding they get it.
ROCKY ADKINS is senior advisor to Gov. Andy Beshear.