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Gov. Beshear urges McConnell and Bunning to back extension of unemployment benefits
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 24, 2009) As the Commonwealth faces an 11.1 percent unemployment rate, Gov. Steve Beshear today sent a letter to Kentucky Senators Mitch McConnell and Jim Bunning urging them to back a proposal designed to provide a temporary extension of certain unemployment benefits.

House Resolution (H.R.) 3548, recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, will provide an additional 13 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits to Kentucky’s unemployed workers who qualify. This comes just as jobless rates have again climbed in each of the state’s 120 counties compared to last year.

In little more than a year’s time, nearly 123,000 Kentuckians have claimed emergency unemployment compensation after their regular benefit allowances expired. During this prolonged economic downturn, between 800 and 1,200 Kentuckians each week are now exhausting the emergency unemployment benefits provided by Congress. Additionally, more than 10,000 have been forced to rely further on the extended benefits provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Earlier this month, the governor asked Kentucky’s Congressional delegation to support H.R. 3404, a measure that would provide a yearlong extension of unemployment benefits. That proposal is still waiting for consideration.

“While I hold out hope that this longer extension may someday become a reality and provide a much-needed boost to Kentucky’s unemployed,” Gov. Beshear wrote, “your support of H.R. 3548 will certainly go a long way toward helping those Kentuckians who need it most.”

To contact your Senators in support of H.R. 3548, go online to

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