Kentucky To Receive $1.7 Billion From Federal Coronavirus Bill

Mar 30, 2020

Credit Liam James Doyle/NPR

Kentucky will receive about $1.7 billion from from the federal government as part of the coronavirus relief bill signed into law on Friday, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

State government will receive about $1.6 billion and Louisville will receive an additional $134 million under a provision that gives extra funding to cities with populations over 500,000. It’s the only city in the state big enough to qualify.

The money is intended to relieve immediate budget problems state and local governments face as they respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Kentucky had 394 confirmed coronavirus cases, and nine deaths associated with the disease, as of Saturday evening.

Kentucky’s legislature is in the middle of trying to finalize a two-year state budget while dealing with the reality that tax revenue will decline sharply in the coming months —especially revenue from sales and income taxes. (Even before the pandemic, the state was already projected to have lackluster revenue growth over the coming years.)

Lawmakers hope to pass a final version of the budget on Wednesday, when they’re back in session.

The federal coronavirus bill also provides a one-time infusion of cash to citizens and families— $1,200 for individuals who make up to $75,000 per year, $2,400 for married couples making up to $150,000, and an additional $500 per child. The amount decreases and phases out for those with higher incomes.

  U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Sunday morning that the money would be sent out in the next three weeks.

A variety of other state and local programs will also receive support from the federal relief package, according to the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, including $195 million for K-12 education, $8.29 million from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant and $25.9 million for homeless programs.

Kentucky lawmakers passed their own coronavirus relief bill on Thursday that expands unemployment benefits in the state, eases regulations on telehealth services and gives the governor power to waive several business-related fees and penalties.