FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 31, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear updated Kentuckians on lowering flags to honor a fallen Scott County deputy sheriff; more jobs in the commonwealth; economic development; justice-involved programs to reduce recidivism; sports betting; a special election for House District 93; a home dedication in Knott County; and a disaster recovery program. He also named D’Corey Johnson, an 11-year-old singer from Louisville who performed on the season 18 premiere of “America’s Got Talent,” as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Star.
Flag Lowering to Honor Scott County Sheriff’s Deputy
Gov. Beshear said he will attend funeral services tomorrow for Scott County Deputy Sheriff Caleb Conley, who was tragically killed during a traffic stop on Interstate Highway 75 last week. The Governor has ordered flags at state buildings to be lowered Thursday, June 1, to honor Deputy Conley. Deputy Conley was the first Kentucky peace officer killed in the line of duty this year.
Nearly 54,000 More Jobs
The Governor announced today that April’s low unemployment rate shows that Kentucky’s nonfarm employment has increased by nearly 54,000 jobs compared with pre-pandemic levels. Earlier this month, Gov. Beshear announced Kentucky reached a new historic low unemployment rate of 3.7%. The new record low unemployment rate extends Kentucky’s streak for the lowest unemployment rates for the longest period of time in the commonwealth’s history.
“Thanks to our record low unemployment rates and historic job growth, Kentuckians across the commonwealth now have more opportunities available for quality, good-paying jobs,” said Gov. Beshear. “Our record-breaking economy is what can happen when we put politics aside and focus on moving the state not left, not right, but forward for all of our Kentucky families.”
Gov. Beshear announced Kentucky has further solidified its place as a national leader in the rapidly growing electric vehicle industry as leaders at Toyota committed to retain 700 full-time Kentucky jobs and establish the company’s first U.S.-assembled battery electric vehicle at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, in Georgetown. The project is part of a $591 million commitment for future projects at the Scott County facility.
“This is incredible news that further cements Kentucky as the center of the electric vehicle sector,” Gov. Beshear said. “Toyota has long been a vital part of the automotive industry in the commonwealth, and now the company is positioned to help lead us into the future. I want to thank the company’s leaders for their commitment to our state’s incredible workforce and can’t wait to see what’s next for Toyota and Kentucky.”
The Governor highlighted the continued momentum of the state’s logistics and distribution sector as Kroger Fulfillment Network, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Kroger Co., will locate a new distribution center, also known as a spoke or cross-docking facility, in Boone County, investing over $550,000 and creating 98 full-time, Kentucky jobs.
Gov. Beshear joined local officials from Garrard County and leaders from Bluegrass Bottling, a Kentucky-based, woman-owned business, to break ground on the company’s new Lancaster bottling facility, which will create 27 new full-time positions with a $6.25 million investment.
Furthering his commitment to boost workforce participation and create safer communities, Gov. Beshear announced today that state inmates are securing employment and addiction treatment at record levels, which has helped keep more Kentuckians from returning to prison.
The Governor said justice-involved programs offered by his administration have helped increase released inmates’ employment rate to 57%, increase corrections-based addiction treatment beds to the largest number ever and record the lowest recidivism rate in state history at 27.15%.
Gov. Beshear provided an update on sports wagering in the commonwealth. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is now hiring employees in wagering compliance to prepare for the launch of sports wagering. The commission is actively engaged with officials from other states and industry experts, reviewing regulations and best practices.
In the initial round of hiring, the commission will hire dedicated professionals to support wagering compliance efforts, including advisors, analysts, auditors and other crucial roles in regulating the sports wagering industry. Interested candidates can find detailed information on these positions and the application process at KHRC.ky.gov.
House District 93 Special Election
On May 14, Rep. Lamin Swann, representing District 93 in Fayette County, passed away. Kentucky law requires the Governor to issue a writ of election to fill a vacancy in the House of Representatives when the General Assembly is not in session. Gov. Beshear signed an executive order today calling for an election to fill the seat to be held Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023.
“Lamin was always smiling, leading with kindness and working to build a better Kentucky for all our families. We miss him, and we continue to hold his family in prayer,” Gov. Beshear said. “On Tuesday, Nov. 7, Kentuckians can honor Lamin by getting out to vote for someone they believe in to carry on this important work.”
Eastern Kentucky Home Dedication
During the historic floods in July 2022, William and Cheyenne White and their children, Caleb and Maggie, lost their home in Knott County. With the help of the Housing Development Alliance and the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund, the White family will move into a new home, which will be above the river so the property will not flood.
“That night, we watched our house pick up and float away. We couldn’t complain because we all still had each other. Everybody was safe. There’s a lot of people that didn’t have that privilege that we did,” said William White. “It feels like we can actually start our lives again.”
Click here to view a video from the White family.
The Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund has raised over $13.2 million from more than 41,500 donors. To contribute, click here, or visit governor.ky.gov/Flood-Resources for more information.
Disaster Recovery Program
Last month, the Governor announced that more than $123 million would be available to communities impacted in 2021 by tornadoes in the west and flooding in the east. Applications opened May 1 to help build homes, rental properties and multifamily properties in these areas.
Tomorrow, June 1, applications will open for infrastructure projects for cities, counties, nonprofits, for-profits and other governmental entities. This includes projects addressing water, wastewater, stormwater and other infrastructure needs. Applications will also open for projects addressing economic revitalization efforts. Applications will be available at kydlgweb.ky.gov tomorrow for 2021 disaster-impacted communities. Kentuckians can also email DLG.DR@ky.gov for questions.
Team Kentucky All-Star
Gov. Beshear named D’Corey Johnson, an 11-year-old singer from Louisville, as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Star. D’Corey stunned the judges and audience as he performed during the season 18 premiere of “America’s Got Talent.”
“Team Kentucky is so proud of you, D’Corey, and we can’t wait to see how far you go. Be sure to support D’Corey on his ‘AGT’ journey,” said Gov. Beshear.