Governor Andy Beshear said Tuesday Kentucky’s budget faces a $1.1 billion shortfall in fiscal year 2021 without another round of stimulus funding from Congress.
Kentucky’s General Assembly only passed a one-year budget during this year’s legislative session as the COVID-19 pandemic emerged.
Without additional federal help, Beshear said state agencies face cuts ranging from 16 percent to 29 percent.
Beshear said he had been in contact with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell about the need for another round of COVID-19 relief money.
Beshear also announced Tuesday that the state has entered a $7.4 million contract with Ernst & Young for 300 workers to help process unemployment claims, particularly the roughly 56,000 unprocessed claims from March, April and May.
Two hundred Ernst & Young employees will begin Monday morning, immediately tripling the total number of workers handling unemployment claims, he said, noting that 100 of them had recently assisted Colorado process unemployment claims.
The one-month contract will be paid through federal stimulus funding.
Beshear said it would cost the state about $30 million in a year to hire 300 more employees to handle unemployment claims, with four to six months needed for training.