May 6, 2020 Blog, Press Release

McConnell Turns His Back on Kentucky

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell is signaling he’s ready to leave Kentucky first responders, public health employees and  thousands of unemployed Kentuckians behind by refusing to take up state and local government relief in a “phase 4” COVID-19 relief bill.

Reports say McConnell is reluctant to pass further legislation helping state and local governments who are shouldering the load during the COVID-19 pandemic. States and local governments are having to buy their own personal protective equipment (PPE), set up testing, pay out millions of dollars in unexpected unemployment as well as other expenses.

In Kentucky, the state government has gone from hundreds of millions in a budget surplus to an up to $500 million deficit for the fiscal year ending in a few years. With no relief, the next fiscal year could have another deficit of hundreds of millions, the state budget director said.

That would lead to massive cuts and layoffs, experts say.

Additionally, Kentucky’s cities and universities are also experiencing millions of dollars in budget deficits that could lead to layoffs or furloughs for essential employees like first responders and public health employees.

Marisa McNee, Kentucky Democratic Party spokesperson, said, “It seems Mitch can’t quite make up his mind. First he was letting the states go bankrupt, and then he claimed it was just a suggestion, and now he’s back to turning his back on Kentucky again. We deserve better, it’s time for Mitch to go. We need somebody in Washington who wants to stand up and fight for us.”

“If Mitch McConnell is willing to stand up for his corporate political donors, he needs to be willing to stand up for all of us here in Kentucky. It’s time for McConnell to stop playing political games and finally work for Kentuckians,” 

Here’s a list of at least one billion in deficits McConnell will force on Kentucky institutions without passing additional relief: