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Beshear: If $300 Unemployment Offer Workable, 'We're Going To Take It'

AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File

Gov. Andy Beshear is considering applying for a revamped federal unemployment program signed into existence by the Trump administration, but the state is still reviewing the details.

Republican state House and Senate leaders are urging Beshear to take advantage of a new offer from the White House - $300 in weekly enhanced federal unemployment benefits for out-of-work Kentuckians. Revised language in the executive order would allow states to use dollars they are already paying out in benefits as the $100 required match.

"We do have to get clarity on a lot of points because (if) you agree and jump in on something and you don't know all of the rules, then shame on you if you're not doing it right," the governor said. "I will say if the federal government is going to provide $300 and it doesn't create an unworkable situation for the state, yeah we're going to take it."

Beshear has said he would prefer that Congress re-up the full $600 weekly add-on, but Republicans have so far resisted, arguing the government had been paying some workers more to stay home than to head back to work.

The governor signaled he intends to open regional unemployment offices once the state has caught up, or nearly caught up, on its backlog of claims.

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