Stopping HB 4

Mark Johnson | February 7, 2022

An immediate plan of action is being requested from churches who, like ours, are a part of the Kentucky Council of Churches.  It involves details of HB 4, which as defined below has the potential to negatively impact the most vulnerable in our community and State.  As historic Baptists, we understand the principle of church and state separation to prohibit the use of church resources to endorse and campaign for specific political candidates, not as the need for the church to be silent about policy decisions that might negatively hurt the powerless.  I invite you to learn and study about HB 4 by following the included links and if so led by the Spirit, to take action.



Below is the information provided by the Kentucky Council of Churches

Jesus and the prophets demanded care for the most vulnerable and the workers who needed their daily wages to support their families. Now it's our turn. 

Help Derail HB 4 That Will Needlessly Punish Vulnerable Kentucky Workers

House Bill 4 is a bill being fast-tracked and would significantly decrease unemployment benefits, make the process burdensome and complex for both applicants and state administrators, and force workers to take any job that offered 54% of a previous wage. This punishes workers who are jobless through no fault of their own and burdens a tragically overwhelmed state UI system with countless new regulations and opportunities for error. 

Given how important unemployment benefits have been in the past two years, and how difficult it was for claimants to navigate the system, we fear the major provisions of this bill will only make things much worse for working Kentuckians.

Please see KyPolicy's full analysis here for details about our concerns. The Kentucky Center for Economic Policy is a partner with the Kentucky Council of Churches in non-partisan analysis. Here are the highlights we are concerned about:

HB 4 severely cuts the number of available weeks for support, needed both for economic recovery and basic provision for families.

Increases reporting requirements and creates a scenario where after 6 weeks, claimants must accept the first job offered so long as it pays just over half their previous job. 

HB 4 will hurt workers in the eastern counties where unemployment is consistently above the state average, with over a quarter of counties experiencing unemployment rates 30% above the state average.

HB 4 will disproportionately affect Kentuckians of color who are unemployed sooner and longer than the average state workforce. 

There is a historic state budget surplus at this time. There is no need to drive wages downward when inflation is on the rise.

Join us in standing against HB 4 by:

Follow this link to take immediate action: Help Keep Unemployment Benefits Accessible and Reasonable.

Please call 800-372-7181 and leave a message for your legislators AND the House Economic Development and Workforce Investment Committee. Tell them to invest in Kentucky workers by rejecting HB 4 and fixing the unemployment system.

Don't make it worse than it already is!



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