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Slashing UI is Heartless. Negotiators Must Do Better.

The Kentucky Equal Justice Center’s Richard Seckel released the following statement on the Senate Republican proposal for the next round of COVID-19 relief legislation:

Senate Republicans’ proposal to cut emergency benefits from $600 a week to $200 is both counterproductive and heartless:

  • Counterproductive because the $600 has flowed from workers to our economy and prevented Kentucky businesses from shutting their doors;

  • Heartless because the $600 has helped families keep food on the table and a roof over their heads.

At a time when both COVID-19 cases and layoffs are increasing, unemployment insurance remains a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of workers and their families.

The U.S. slid into the Great Depression while Herbert Hoover sat on his hands. Today, we see Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans demonstrating another failure of vision, compassion and leadership: their plan is simply too little, too late.

An unequivocal commitment to the safety and well-being of Kentucky workers — and so also to the Kentucky economy — is the only thing that’s going to get us through the pandemic crisis. Keeping the $600 helps both. Slashing it helps neither.

We encourage negotiators to do better.


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