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Beshear working on incentive, bonus program to get Kentuckians back to work

The governor didn't provide any details about the program, but said he would make an announcement late next week.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said he plans to offer incentives to entice more people back to work to help resolve labor shortages. 

The governor has steadfastly defended the $300 in extra weekly federal unemployment payments and said he wanted to find alternate methods to get people back in the workforce. He said Thursday that the supplemental benefits inject $34 million each week into Kentucky’s economy, benefiting retailers, grocery stores and restaurants.

Rather than eliminating the weekly payments, Beshear said he is working on a program that would offer incentives or bonuses for people who return to work.

He didn't provide any details on the program but said he plans to make an announcement about it late next week. The program itself would not go into effect until later.

During the Team Kentucky Update Thursday, Beshear said Kentucky's labor shortage was not a partisan issue, just a "complicated" one. He said while some people may not be returning to work because of the federal benefits, others may be trying to navigate childcare options or were hesitant to return to their front-facing jobs due to the threat of the virus.

In Indiana, the federal unemployment benefits are set to end June 19.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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