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Ky. Lawmakers hold public hearing to consider hero pay for essential workers

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX 56/ WKYT) – Kentucky Legislators are considering who could get a share of the $400 million in the Rescue Plan that the governor wants to be assigned to pay the hero.

Last week, lawmakers heard from nurses and first responders. On Wednesday, even more testimonies from educators, social workers and sanitation workers filled a committee room with appeals.

More than a dozen people were scheduled to speak, but more were lodged in one of the largest committee rooms in the Capitol’s annex.

“So I salute you, for the challenges you’ve taken, especially over the past two years,” said Representative Derrick Graham.

Teachers and groups of teachers talked about how to work and adapt during the pandemic, from teaching at home, riding the school bus, picking up packets – to taking risks uncertain about their own health.

“I didn’t count the hours I worked from March to May of that year. But I can assure you that most of the work I did took place outside of the traditional 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. schedule,” said Lori McKeehan, an elementary school teacher from Knox County.

“What started as what we thought was a temporary two-week closure has turned into two years of trauma and disruption,” said Eddie Campbell, president of the Kentucky Education Association. Kentucky Education Association said.

Educators say the dedicated teachers shown during the pandemic were seen again recently, in western Kentucky as some teachers went door-to-door to check on their students.

“And I shudder to think what will happen across Kentucky when teachers stop showing up,” said Dr. Donielle Lovell of WKU.

Last week, Governor Beshear said he would include social workers in his proposal to pay heroes, as he announced a pay increase amid the recent large number of personnel migration. On Wednesday, they appealed to lawmakers.

“This bonus can lessen the negative impact to give workers some incentive to be appreciated for the work they do. Hopefully the things here won’t leave and we can keep them,” said Taffy Ratliff, field office supervisor.

Many say that the pandemic has simply made bad situations with revenue a lot worse.

The House Democrats’ caucus will hold another hearing at 1:30pm next Tuesday on their Facebook page for occupations not included in Wednesday’s or last week’s presentations.

https://foxlexington.com/news/kentucky/ky-lawmakers-hold-public-hearing-to-consider-hero-pay-for-essential-workers/ Ky. Lawmakers hold public hearing to consider hero pay for essential workers

Britta Zeltmann

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