Kentucky lawmakers are planning to help home and business owners in tornado-stricken areas. Earlier this month, tornadoes ripped through Northern and Eastern Kentucky, causing millions of dollars in damage. But lawmakers are working on legislation to give storm victims refunds on sales tax for building materials.
New guidelines issued by the U-S Department of Labor mean claimants will have to conduct documented work searches to continue receiving jobless benefits. Under terms of federal legislation enacted in February, claimants will also be required to meet face to face with state job service workers.
The Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet says jobless rates declined in 114 of the state’s counties from January of last year to January of 2012. State officials say Woodford County had the lowest unemployment rate in the state, at 6.9 percent. Webster, Fayette, Union, Oldham, and Henderson Counties are among those listed with relatively low rates, ranging from 7.2 to 7.9 percent.
A compromise to help employers avoid high federal unemployment insurance taxes has easily cleared a House committee. The proposal would allow Kentucky to borrow money from a bank or other organization to repay federal loans. Kentucky borrowed nearly one billion dollars from the federal government to pay for unemployment insurance during the recession.
The Office of State Budget Director Mary Lassiter says General Fund Receipts in the bluegrass state increased 3.8 percent in February, compared to February of 2011. Total revenues topped 574 million dollars, compared to just under 553 million dollars for the same month last year.