Sharp: Ky. to open satellite unemployment office in Ashland

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Sharp: Ky. to open satellite unemployment office in Ashland

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FRANKFORT Members of the Kentucky General Assembly amended Senate Bill 146 to include a version of 100th District Representative Scott Sharp’s proposal to require regional public employment offices to open when an area’s unemployment rate is above 5% for the preceding six-month period, according to a release.

Sharp’s language calls for 12 regional, full-time offices and grants the Labor Cabinet the ability to open and operate additional satellite offices on a full- or part-time schedule.

“I am extremely pleased to see this bill pass the legislature and appreciate that my colleagues in the House and Senate recognized this issue for how important it is,” Sharp added. “Thousands of Kentuckians found themselves unemployed and under-employed as a result of this pandemic and the state’s response to it. It was completely out of their control and out of the employer’s control, but the end result was the same — a system designed to help a ‘normal’ case load was overwhelmed. People spent months just trying to talk to someone at unemployment, and too many still don’t know if they’re going to get benefits.”

Sharp added that the Governor’s Office has committed to opening a satellite office in Ashland by April 15, since the nearest regional office is more than an hour away in Morehead. Sharp negotiated with Rocky Adkins, Beshear’s senior adviser.

“I think we all want to make these offices as local as possible, but we recognize that it has to be feasible to operate them,” Sharp said. “The satellite offices provide a great option, giving us a chance to get local with a more semi-permanent approach. I want to thank Rocky Adkins for collaborating on this legislation and for his commitment to opening an office in Ashland. When he learned that I drove to the unemployment insurance office here in Frankfort to get answers for the folks in my district, I think he saw how serious I was about creating a plan to open employment offices based on need.”

House Speaker David Osborne praised Sharp’s commitment to making unemployment insurance more accountable to Kentuckians.

“This may be Representative Sharp’s first session, but he made it clear from the very beginning that the people of his district sent him to Frankfort to fight on their behalf and that’s exactly what he has done this session,” Osborne said.

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