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Feds to send $2.1 billion-plus to Kentucky state government

Kentucky State Capitol Building
Posted at 5:49 PM, May 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-10 17:49:28-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — State government in Kentucky will receive more than $2.1 billion from the latest round of federal coronavirus aid — a smaller-than-expected amount due to the state’s improving economic performance, Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday.

The U.S. Treasury announced state allocations based primarily on each state’s share of the nation’s unemployed from October through December 2020, Beshear’s office said. Kentucky performed better than expected during that period.

As a result, Kentucky’s allotment will be $2.18 billion, down from an initial estimate that state government would receive $2.44 billion, the governor’s office said.

The lower amount doesn’t affect a bipartisan agreement between lawmakers and Beshear’s administration on how to use nearly $1.3 billion of the federal aid, the governor said.

Lawmakers agreed to use portions of the federal money on expanded broadband service, clean water projects and school construction. Part of the federal aid will enable the state to repay a federal loan that kept Kentucky’s unemployment insurance program afloat.

“We are in a strong position to sprint out of this pandemic with continued positive economic indicators and with this funding that will create jobs, momentum and a better quality of life in every corner of the commonwealth,” Beshear said.

The aid package was championed by President Joe Biden and passed by congressional Democrats — including Kentucky’s lone Democratic congressman, John Yarmuth.