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'We Don't Have It, We Don't Crawl Out.' Beshear Says Federal Aid A Necessity

AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley

Gov. Andy Beshear says a lack of federal stimulus dollars would "cripple" Kentucky's coronavirus recovery efforts. The comments came in response to Sen. Mitch McConnell's statement that hard-hit states should be able to declare bankruptcy.

In an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, McConnell worried aloud that some state requests for federal aid might really be thinly-disguised bailouts for state and local governments with massive pension and other debts not directly tied to COVID-19.

"I would certainly be in favor of allowing states to use the bankruptcy route. It saves some cities. And there’s no good reason for it not to be available," the Senate Majority Leader said. "My guess is their first choice would be for the federal government to borrow money from future generations to send it down to them now so they don’t have to do that. That’s not something I’m going to be in favor of."

Prompted to respond, Gov. Beshear responded Thursday that federal aid is "necessary."

"(If) we don't have it, we don't crawl out and restart and rebuild," the Democrat said. "We will be hit with a rougher recession, it will last longer, and it will be harder to dig out of. We will have more unemployment in Kentucky than we need to during that period. We'll have to cut vital services."

This week the Senate okayed a $484 billion package for small businesses and hospitals, but stopped short of providing emergency funding for state and local governments.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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