Beshear proposes merger of education and labor firms


FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Gov. Andy Beshear announced Thursday that his administration is moving forward with a merger of Kentucky’s education and labor cabinets.

The Democratic governor said the current arrangement makes it difficult to remain competitive for certain federal grants and also creates challenges for meeting certain federal standards.

Beshear also said that Kentucky’s pandemic unemployment insurance system “must be part of a bigger, more robust cabinet” and insisted the merger would give the state “a chance to cross-training and more resilience, ”if Kentucky were to deal with something like the coronavirus pandemic in the future.

Like other states, Kentucky has been inundated with a record number of jobless claims caused by the coronavirus. Many state residents waited months for unemployment claims to be processed.

The merger requires legislative approval from the state’s General Assembly, where Republicans hold veto-proof qualified majorities in both chambers.


“I think lawmakers should give this governor and others the tools they ultimately need to deal with the situations they face,” Beshear said. “Certainly, asking for fewer cabinets rather than more should be part of the government philosophy of the majority, but we will speak with them.”


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