They may not have the power of the majority party, but House Democrats held their own hearing on Monday in Frankfort.They heard from essential workers, to whom Gov. Andy Beshear has proposed giving bonus pay for their frontline work during the pandemic.”At one point, my 10-year-old daughter asked her mother, ‘Is daddy going to die?’,” recalled Sgt. Justin Bradbury of the Covington Police Department, while telling the story of his recovery from COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic. The move came after Republicans spurned Gov. Andy Beshear’s request to form a workgroup on the topic, ahead of what’s expected to be a busy 2022 General Assembly.Beshear wants to pay for the proposal with $400 million in American Rescue Plan funds. He suggested lawmakers identify which professions would qualify for payments.In recent months, Republicans such as Sen. Ralph Alvarado, R-Winchester, have proposed using federal stimulus money to attract and retain nurses, many of whom are leaving Kentucky for higher pay and bonuses provided by other states.The Joint Interim Appropriations and Revenue Committee has already heard from some groups about bonus pay, according to a statement from Speaker of the House David Osborne, R-Prospect.”While we will consider what this workgroup proposes, as well as the governor’s suggestions, we also invite them to participate in the existing process,” Osborne said in the statement.

They may not have the power of the majority party, but House Democrats held their own hearing on Monday in Frankfort.

They heard from essential workers, to whom Gov. Andy Beshear has proposed giving bonus pay for their frontline work during the pandemic.

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“At one point, my 10-year-old daughter asked her mother, ‘Is daddy going to die?’,” recalled Sgt. Justin Bradbury of the Covington Police Department, while telling the story of his recovery from COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic.

The move came after Republicans spurned Gov. Andy Beshear’s request to form a workgroup on the topic, ahead of what’s expected to be a busy 2022 General Assembly.

Beshear wants to pay for the proposal with $400 million in American Rescue Plan funds. He suggested lawmakers identify which professions would qualify for payments.

In recent months, Republicans such as Sen. Ralph Alvarado, R-Winchester, have proposed using federal stimulus money to attract and retain nurses, many of whom are leaving Kentucky for higher pay and bonuses provided by other states.

The Joint Interim Appropriations and Revenue Committee has already heard from some groups about bonus pay, according to a statement from Speaker of the House David Osborne, R-Prospect.

“While we will consider what this workgroup proposes, as well as the governor’s suggestions, we also invite them to participate in the existing process,” Osborne said in the statement.

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