Kentucky burning through jobless money it borrowed from U.S.

Lexington Herald-LeaderFebruary 6, 2009 

FRANKFORT, Ky. — A crush of out-of-work Kentuckians is soaking up the $185 million the state borrowed last month from the U.S. government to keep its unemployment insurance fund solvent.

Helen Mountjoy, secretary of education and workforce development, told the House Labor and Industry Committee Thursday that the unemployment insurance fund has in one week spent $19.7 million, more than a tenth of the $185 million the state borrowed last month to help the fund make payments through March.

Even if the loan lasts through March, the state will be borrowing as much or more each quarter for the rest of the year.

"This is a major volcano that is brewing that we've got to pay attention to," said Rep. Brent Yonts, D-Greenville, after hearing Mountjoy's presentation.

Kentucky is one of seven states that has taken out a line of credit from the federal government to keep its unemployment insurance going in the face of mounting layoffs. The others are New York, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, South Carolina and most recently, California.

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