FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 3, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman updated Kentuckians on continued General Fund growth; economic development progress; the Education First Plan; the Bowling Green Veterans Center; disaster recovery and rebuilding efforts; the 200th anniversary of the founding of Calloway County; nonprofit assistance; kynect open enrollment coverage; funds to improve railroad crossings; Eddyville Riverport funding; and COVID-19. He also named Kentucky marching bands as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars.
Continued General Fund Growth
The Governor announced that the current General Fund revenue is expected to reach more than $15 billion, or a 2.8% increase in fiscal year 2023. This will result in a revenue surplus of $1.3 billion, the largest surplus in Kentucky’s history.
“This is great news. Our commonwealth’s fiscal health is in great shape,” Gov. Beshear said. “And what this means is there is more than enough funding for our Education First Plan, which will invest in our teachers, school staff and our schools to help our kids.”
Economic Development Update
Gov. Beshear highlighted two economic development projects expected to create nearly 275 jobs and represent $41.6 million in new investment. He also highlighted a grant awarded to the Cadiz-Trigg County Industrial Development Authority to support upgrades to the industrial park.
Today, the Governor announced job growth in Eastern Kentucky, as leaders at Emerald Energy and Exploration Land Co., which provides right of way land acquisition and project management services, will relocate the company's headquarters to Salyersville alongside the recent Mountain Parkway expansion, with a $1.4 million investment creating 25 full-time jobs.
Tuesday, Gov. Beshear joined local officials from Boone County and leaders from F&E Aircraft Maintenance (FEAM AERO) to celebrate the groundbreaking of the company’s new three-bay hangar at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), creating nearly 250 full-time positions, including at least 124 Kentucky-resident jobs, with a $40.2 million investment.
Also on Tuesday, the Governor announced a $500,000 grant to the Cadiz-Trigg County Industrial Development Authority to support upgrades totaling $3.5 million for industrial park development and spec building construction.
Gov. Beshear highlighted Revolutionary Racing, which recently broke ground on a Quarter Horse track, equestrian center and entertainment complex. The new horse track is located in Ashland and will make Boyd County a destination for horse owners and racing fans from around the country, further cementing the commonwealth’s role as the Horse Capital of the World. The $55 million investment will create hundreds of union construction jobs over the next year and, when complete, it will provide more than 200 full-time positions in Boyd County.
The Governor also announced that two Kentucky companies have been selected to receive funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Marksbury Farm Foods in Garrard County will receive $779,080 to expand its production and create 25 new jobs in Lancaster. Lorenz and Hammond LLC in Anderson County will receive over $2 million to construct a new meat processing facility in Lawrenceburg.
Education First Plan
With the World Health Organization recently stating that the end of the COVID-19 pandemic is in sight, Gov. Beshear reminded Kentuckians that his Education First Plan aims to address student learning loss brought on by the pandemic and the state’s nearly 11,000 public school teacher vacancies. The Governor supports providing funding for a 5% pay raise for school staff, universal pre-K, textbooks, technology and training, teacher student loan forgiveness and social and mental health services. The Governor is also asking lawmakers to consider restoring new teacher pensions, which he said is the single most effective action we can take to keep new teachers in the classroom. The General Assembly will have an opportunity to pass the plan during the 2023 regular session. To read more about the plan click here.
Bowling Green Veterans Center Groundbreaking
Yesterday, Gov. Beshear joined federal, state and local leaders to break ground on the Bowling Green Veterans Center, which will provide compassionate care for Kentucky’s veterans. The $50 million investment will create 120 new jobs and will be the state’s fifth long-term skilled nursing care facility. The 80,000-square-foot facility will provide 60 beds and is being built on 25 acres of land donated by the Inter-Modal Transportation Authority at the Kentucky Transpark in Warren County.
Eastern Kentucky Flood Update
Gov. Beshear provided an update on Eastern Kentucky stabilization and rebuilding efforts following July’s historic floods. More than $84.5 million in grants have been approved under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Individuals and Households Program for 8,379 households. Over $55.3 million has been approved under the U.S. Small Business Administration. Disaster Recovery Centers and Multi-Agency Resource Centers are still open. Visit governor.ky.gov/FloodResources for locations and times or follow Kentucky Emergency Management on social media.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet continues to clear streams of debris and transport damaged vehicles found in public rights of way to vehicle management sites. Community drop-off sites where residents can take eligible debris on their own will remain open until at least Nov. 14.
The Governor said that Kentucky State Parks are now housing 236 people. Currently, 609 individuals are being housed in travel trailers. There are 311 travel trailers on site in 10 different locations.
To date, the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund has raised over $10.5 million from more than 39,000 donors. The Governor highlighted and thanked the Kentucky Distillers Association (KDA) and its online auction, the Kentucky Bourbon Benefit, which raised $1.4 million for the fund. So far, the KDA bourbon auctions have generated the single largest donations to both the Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund and the Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund. He also thanked Shop Local Kentucky and its Kentucky Strong Initiative, which donated $134,324.84 to the fund. To contribute, click here. For other information regarding flooding in Eastern Kentucky, visit governor.ky.gov/FloodResources.
EKSAFE Fund Awards
Today, Gov. Beshear announced another $4.1 million in awards from the Eastern Kentucky SAFE Fund to communities and public entities to support recovery efforts in counties impacted by the late July floods. Payments going out this week include:
- $2.5 million to the City of Hazard to help ease financial strain;
- $26,000 to the City of Paintsville to fund the required FEMA match;
- $130,000 to Paintsville Utilities to support the FEMA match; and
- Nearly $1.5 million to the Pike County Fiscal Court to support the non-Federal required match.
The Kentucky Division of Emergency Management has issued over $8.5 million in payments from the nearly $213 million appropriated for the Eastern Kentucky SAFE Funds.
Insurance Update for Western Kentucky
The Governor reminded insured homeowners and renters in areas impacted by the Western Kentucky tornado to review their policies and contact their insurance carrier about upcoming deadlines. While each individual’s policy will differ, the Governor listed items to be aware of when checking insurance policies. Most carriers do not allow claims to be filed after one year from the qualifying event. Some policies only allow an individual one year from the date of loss to file a lawsuit. Those in a dispute with an insurance company can file a complaint with the Department of Insurance at insurance.ky.gov or consult with an attorney. Funds are available from the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund for homeowners and renters who still need home repairs. To apply for these funds, contact a local long-term recovery group. Resources for rental assistance and other needs can be found at governor.ky.gov/tornadoresources.
Additional Disaster Recovery Funding
In March of this year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Kentucky will receive $74,953,000 in funding to recover from severe weather events of 2021. Today, Gov. Beshear cited Sen. McConnell’s announcement that Kentucky will receive an additional $48,983,000 in disaster recovery funds, bringing the total to $123,936,000. The funding comes through the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery program, which is administered by Kentucky’s Department for Local Government. The funds will help Kentucky recover from the tornadoes of December 2021, and the flooding of February and March of 2021.
Eddyville Riverport Funding
Gov. Beshear said that nearly $5 million in funding will be provided to the Eddyville Riverport and Industrial Development Authority through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Port Infrastructure Development Authority. This funding will be used to construct an inlet adjacent to the existing port on the Cumberland River to increase the port’s operations.
Funds to Improve Railroad Crossings
The Governor, who has made safety and efficiency in all modes of transportation a top priority of his administration, announced more than $2.2 million in grants to improve railroad crossings in 11 Kentucky counties.
Team Kentucky Nonprofit Assistance Fund
Today, Lt. Gov. Coleman announced that the Team Kentucky Nonprofit Assistance Fund will reopen next week, Nov. 7, and remain open until Nov. 16. This fund is for nonprofits that have not previously applied for or received an award from the Team Kentucky Nonprofit Assistance Fund. Awards of up to $100,000 in unrestricted funds are available for qualified applicants. So far, 1,081 nonprofits have applied to the fund, requesting $68 million to support their critical missions after COVID-19 disruptions. Nonprofits can learn more and apply at teamkynonprofitfund.ky.gov.
The Governor said the most recent COVID-19 data continues to be encouraging and that more counties are showing as “green” on the COVID-19 community levels map. The Governor and the Kentucky Department for Public Health continue to recommend that people get boosted with the bivalent COVID-19 vaccine. Locations and appointments can be found on vaccines.gov.
kynect Open Enrollment
The Lieutenant Governor announced that Kentuckians can now shop and enroll for health and dental coverage that begins in 2023 on the state-based marketplace, kynect. Enrollment opened Tuesday. To learn more, see the full release.
Team Kentucky All-Stars
Last weekend, high school bands from across the commonwealth joined together for the Kentucky Marching Band Championships. Thirty qualifying bands competed, and five class champions were named in five categories. The Governor named Kentucky high school marching bands that competed in the state championship, as well as their band directors and families, this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars.