Team Kentucky Update included an update on recovery efforts in Eastern Kentucky ahead of one-year anniversary, good economic development news and more
FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 20, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced that his administration secured the largest General Fund budget surplus and Rainy Day Fund as well as the most jobs filled in state history.
“We have always talked about building that better Kentucky for our families, and we are doing it. We have a red-hot economy with the most jobs ever filled. We’ve secured record upon record of budget surpluses and the largest Rainy Day Fund ever. We’ve also lowered income and property taxes,” said Gov. Beshear. “My administration is only going to work harder to make sure every corner of the commonwealth shares in this prosperity.”
Last week, the Governor announced the largest ever General Fund revenue surplus, at $1.4 billion. The final accounting records for the spending budget are now complete, bringing the General Fund budget surplus at the end of fiscal year 2023 to more than $1.55 billion.
Nearly all of the $1.55 billion surplus will go into the commonwealth’s Rainy Day Fund, bringing the fund to a record balance of $3.7 billion – a 2,700% increase since Gov. Beshear took office in 2019.
Gov. Beshear also announced an increase of 6,400 jobs filled, bringing the commonwealth to 2,015,600 filled jobs in June. That is a record number of nearly 60,000 more jobs filled than before the pandemic.
The Governor also provided an update on recent flooding; shared good economic news; announced approval for Medicaid mobile crisis intervention coverage; discussed grants to combat addiction; discussed recovery efforts one year after the floods in Eastern Kentucky; and paid tribute to former state Sen. Joe Wright. He also named three Kentucky State Police (KSP) Troopers honored for their work combating drunken driving as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars.
Recent Flooding in Western Kentucky
Yesterday, Gov. Beshear declared a state of emergency following heavy rainfall that caused flooding in Western Kentucky as well as parts of Central and Eastern Kentucky.
So far, there have not been any requests for state assistance. Five Kentucky Emergency Management area managers have mobilized to Western Kentucky. There have been no fatalities or reports of missing persons. Multiple rescues and home evacuations were conducted, and several roads were closed. As of this morning, 505 homes were without power, down from 19,433 on July 18.
Five counties – Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman and Lee – and five cities – Arlington, Bardwell, Clinton, Cumberland and Mayfield – have declared states of emergency.
Multiple rounds of showers and thunderstorms are expected throughout the region today and through the night. The main impacts will be damaging winds, lightning and heavy rainfall. Flash flooding is a concern in areas that were impacted this week. Gov. Beshear encouraged Kentuckians to stay alert and to be weather aware.
Gov. Beshear emphasized continued growth in Kentucky’s bourbon and spirits industry as Pennyroyal Barrel Co., a bourbon incubator for third-party brands, plans to locate a bourbon-related project in Adair County with an $8.52 million facility creating 10 full-time positions.
The Governor highlighted a new addition within the state’s health care industry as Lunae, the management service organization of Oria Health, plans to establish its corporate headquarters at the Western Kentucky University Innovation Campus, investing $266,000 and creating 33 quality Kentucky jobs.
Gov. Beshear announced that nine innovative Kentucky companies will receive over $1 million in state matching grants to support high-paying jobs and further grow the state’s technology sector. For more information, see the full release.
Approval for Medicaid Mobile Crisis Intervention Coverage
The Governor announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced their approval for expanded community-based mobile crisis service that will provide immediate and unscheduled behavioral health crisis services for Kentuckians in need.
This expanded coverage is expected to take effect in October. Municipalities are encouraged to apply for assistance with implementing the service. Medicaid will award up to 24 applicants over two rounds of funding. Each grantee may receive up to a total of $625,000 through the grant period. A second round of funding is anticipated to open in 2024. To find more information, email Team Kentucky Medicaid at email@example.com.
Grants to Combat Addiction
Gov. Beshear announced $7.6 million in awards administered by the Office of Drug Control Policy. These include $3 million to expand treatment and recovery services for pregnant and parenting women while helping to address neonatal abstinence syndrome, $3 million for community mental health centers to increase the availability of and access to addiction services and more than $1.6 million to Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment to offer employment and training assistance for jobseekers and employers.
Chrysalis House and Four Rivers Behavioral Health are two of the funding recipients.
“The women who come to us are suffering from health disparities, stigma, many things that keep them from being able to seek and receive the treatment that they need,” said Connie Neal, assistant director of Chrysalis House. “The funds from this grant allow Chrysalis House to serve women from all 120 counties and allows us to provide them with quality service and access.”
To view a video about Four Rivers Behavioral Health’s Turning Point: A Recovery Community Center, click here.
“This drug crisis hurts everyone, even our most vulnerable population – our children – and we cannot allow this to continue, which is why it is so important we all work together to reduce the stigma of asking for help,” said Gov. Beshear.
EKY Flooding One-Year Anniversary
Next week will be the one-year anniversary of the deadliest floods in the commonwealth’s history, which took the lives of 45 Kentuckians.
“Working together – and living for one another – we’ve weathered this devastating storm. Now, a year later, we see the promise of a brighter future, one with safer homes and communities as well as new investments and opportunities,” said Gov. Beshear. “That’s what the people of Eastern Kentucky deserve, and that’s what my administration will continue to work for every day.”
The Governor provided an update on the historic rebuild in Eastern Kentucky following last year’s floods. For a list of what the Beshear administration has done so far to help Eastern Kentucky families recover from the flood, click here.
Tribute to Former State Sen. Joe Wright
Gov. Beshear paid tribute to former state Sen. Joe Wright, who passed away earlier this week. Wright served for four years representing the 5th senate district and held the position of Majority Floor Leader for 12 years.
“Joe always prioritized the people of Kentucky. He fought for transparency, and as so many others have said time and time again, he was a man of his word. Joe will be greatly missed. But his impact will live on through generations of Kentuckians,” said Gov. Beshear. “Britainy and I are praying for Barbara, their children and grandchildren during this difficult time.”
Team Kentucky All-Stars
Earlier this week, Mothers Against Drunk Driving honored three KSP troopers for their work in combating drunken driving. The Governor named these three law enforcement officers – Trooper Tyler Bloodworth, Trooper Landon Stewart and Trooper Eric West – as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars. Each of the three troopers from Mayfield arrested more than 25 impaired drivers in a single year.
“Thank you to these three law enforcement officers for going above and beyond in enforcing DUIs. Because of y’all, Kentuckians are safer,” said Gov. Beshear. “So, it is my honor to name you our Team Kentucky All-Stars. Thank you to these three and all of our peace officers across the commonwealth for their work on behalf of Kentuckians. I know you will keep up the good work.”