A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Gov. Andy Beshear: Relief needed now for small businesses, workers harmed by COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 has hit us hard. It has taken the lives of far too many and it has upended our economy, damaging Kentucky’s small businesses and hurting our workers. I’ve seen that hurt and that sacrifice, but I’ve seen our small businesses doing it willingly, knowing that it’s protecting the health and the lives of their customers, their employees and their community. That’s why we have a duty...

Study finds more Kentucky kids are facing housing, health coverage and mental health challenges

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service The coronavirus has surpassed heart disease as the number-one killer of Americans, and a new report finds children are especially vulnerable to the personal and economic consequences of the pandemic. Based on census household survey data taken last spring, the Annie E. Casey Foundation study found nearly 1 in 5 Kentucky households with children said they had slight...

Victory in sight over ‘evil virus’ as vaccinations begin; Beshear reports 1,802 cases, 17 deaths

Gov. Andy Beshear celebrated that COVID-19 vaccinations have begun in the Commonwealth, as three hospitals started vaccinating front-line workers Monday. “This was the most exciting day that I’ve had, I think that we as a Commonwealth have had, since March 6, when we had our first diagnosed COVID case,” said Gov. Beshear. “It marks the beginning of the end of COVID-19. We are going to defeat...

Bill Straub: Kentucky, like many other states, needs stimulus package from the Feds, but it’s not in sight

It’s fair to say, seven months in and counting, that the COVID-19 pandemic has not been at all kind to the Commonwealth of Kentucky. According to Jason Bailey, executive director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, more than 40 percent of the state’s residents have lost household employment income as a result of the ongoing crisis. One out of every four Kentuckians finds himself or herself...

Quarles urges Kentucky farmers to apply for federal coronavirus relief funds; portal closes Dec. 11

Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles is encouraging Kentucky farm families facing market disruptions and associated costs because of the coronavirus pandemic to sign up for the second round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which opened on Sept. 21 and will run through Dec. 11. “Through the passage of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s CARES Act, the U.S. Department...

Beshear reports 776 new COVID-19 cases and 8 deaths; says continue to wear masks to stay safe

Gov. Andy Beshear on Wednesday reported 776 new COVID cases and eight deaths, bringing the state’s total cases to 58,764 cases and 1,082 deaths. Ninety-one of the cases were children 18 and under, of which 12 were ages 5 and under. Fayette County reported 28 cases. “In general, what we are seeing is we still have higher case numbers than we would like to see, but we don’t at the moment see...

Emily Beauregard: Medicaid is essential for many Kentucky families in midst of economic downturn

With COVID-19 cases on the rise and key provisions of the CARES Act expiring at the end of July, the prospect of losing unemployment benefits, facing eviction, being unable to put food on the table, and having to return to school or work in an unsafe environment is looming for many Kentuckians. Any progress Kentucky has made in keeping our residents safe and healthy could be undone without the sustained...

To evict or not evict, that is the question — and the answer is, well, confusing

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today New guidance from the Kentucky Supreme Court on staffing, access to jury trials and evictions has caused some widespread confusion, especially when it comes to the eviction section. 
The Administrative Order, which takes effect on Saturday, allows all evictions for non-payment of rent to resume on that date, except for those subject to the federal CARES Act. 
Leigh Anne...

Daily Yonder: Will a rural homelessness crisis hit after benefit and eviction moratoriums end?

By Liz Carey Special to KyForward With federal unemployment benefits ending soon and moratoriums on evictions soon to follow, social services organizations are bracing for a homelessness crisis to hit rural Americans. Adrienne Bush, executive director for the Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky, says her agency anticipates the termination of federal unemployment benefits could mean as many...

Jason Bailey: Kentucky’s senators must agree to adequate federal aid for state to survive recession

A couple months ago, some public officials and corporate lobbyists began eagerly calling for states to reopen rapidly as the way to solve the COVID-19 problems of mass unemployment and struggling businesses. But the choice to reopen before the virus had been controlled and minimized — and without adequate testing, contact tracing and protections for workers and consumers — has been a dismal failure. COVID-19...

Sarah Davasher-Wisdom: The data is clear, Congress should provide fourth coronavirus stimulus package

Earlier this month, national economic data showed the second consecutive month of unexpected job growth and increased employment amidst the global pandemic of Covid-19. This is excellent news, but it comes with caveats: millions remain unemployed, businesses continue to struggle and shutter, and the virus is surging in parts of the country. An honest assessment of the economic recovery and our fight...

More than $3.6 million in CARES Act reimbursements announced for 15 Western Ky. local governments

In collaboration with the Department for Local Government (DLG), Gov. Andy Beshear this week announced 15 western Kentucky governments have applied for and been granted $3,667,367 in reimbursements from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act for local governments with expenses related to COVID-19. Sixteen others have received preliminary approval, meaning they will receive reimbursements...

Commentary: It’s imperative for federal government to step up, provide the resources for rent relief

By Adrienne Bush, Marilyn Harris and Tiffany Marthaler Special to KyForward In March, this country’s economy was brought to a scratching halt by the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions of people are out of work, with little hope of returning to a new “normal” anytime soon. In June, three months into the COVID-19 state of emergency, many of us watched the lines of hundreds of people still waiting for...

Beshear reports 282 new virus cases, five deaths; help for state’s unemployed on the way

By Mark Maynard Kentucky Today Kentucky reported 282 new cases of COVID-19 and five more people who died with the virus on Tuesday. A statewide total is now at 15,624 and the statewide death toll sits at 565. “While we are not seeing the type of very concerning spike in so many other states, it’s something we’ve got to watch very carefully,” said Gov. Andy Beshear at his daily briefing. Gov....

Kentucky’s city and county governments to receive $300 million coronavirus aid from CARES act

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Andy Beshear announced on Wednesday a $300 million award to city and county governments as part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. Part of The CARES Act, as it is known, established the Coronavirus Relief Fund to reimburse local governments for expenses incurred in response to the public health emergency caused by COVID-19. During his...

University of the Cumberlands distributing CARES Act emergency funding to students

Undergraduate students at University of the Cumberlands will soon receive emergency assistance funding from the university as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. In total, Cumberlands is disbursing $1,398,399 in federal emergency aid to eligible undergraduate students who switched from in-seat classes to online classes due to the coronavirus pandemic. Cumberlands...

Mitch McConnell: Families face daunting challenges, but CARES Act helping save Kentucky jobs

Like in other states, Kentucky’s Governor ordered childcare providers to close their doors in response to the coronavirus. Unfortunately, that left essential personnel including healthcare professionals, law enforcement officers and grocery store workers with few options for their kids. Jennifer Washburn, who runs the iKids Childhood Enrichment Center in Marshall County, stepped in to help. She received...

Uncertainty and financial challenges looming, CPE holds back on statewide tuition limits for next year

Amid the uncertainty and financial challenges of COVID-19, the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education voted Friday to forgo a statewide cap on tuition next year for in-state, undergraduate students at public colleges and universities. The decision provides universities, along with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, maximum flexibility to respond to student needs and shore up...

Kentucky to distribute federal funding to arts organizations impacted by COVID-19 pandemic

Gov. Andy Beshear has announced that Kentucky has received more than $450,000 in funding to provide novel coronavirus prevention, preparedness and response assistance to nonprofit arts organizations throughout the commonwealth as part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. “As Kentucky starts to rebuild, we must provide support for businesses and organizations that have...

Southern agricultural economists explain COVID-19 legislation, offer resources for producers

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Members of the Southern Extension Economics Committee have developed a YouTube video and a PowerPoint presentation to help producers understand how recent legislation related to the COVID-19 pandemic affects them. “About a week ago, committee members started receiving an overwhelming amount of calls from stakeholders about the effects of the rapidly evolving...