Gov. Beshear Provides Team Kentucky Update

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 21, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear provided an update on economic development; a bourbon-related tourism development project coming to Fayette County; health care access for community and technical college students; the formation of the Kentucky Antisemitism Task Force; the rollout of the Kentucky Automated Vehicle Information System; Kentucky State Police’s annual “Cram the Cruiser” food drive; and his Forward, Together budget proposal.

Economic Development
Gov. Beshear announced 46 site and building development projects in 45 counties have moved ahead to the due diligence stage for review in the second round of the Kentucky Product Development Initiative, with $68.8 million available to support the projects. The Cabinet for Economic Development initiative provides funding for local communities to further investments in site and building upgrades to support future, well-paying jobs and economic growth across Kentucky.

Tourism Development Project Coming to Fayette County
The Governor highlighted continued growth in Kentucky’s bourbon and spirits industry as RD1 Spirits plans to locate a bourbon-related project in Fayette County with a $4.8 million facility, creating 11 full-time positions when fully operational.

Health Care Access for Community and Technical College Students
Gov. Beshear announced a partnership with Kentucky Community & Technical College System (KCTCS) that places onsite experts at their 16 colleges full-time to help students apply for health coverage, food and child care assistance programs. These experts, known as “kynectors,” are available to help the more than 100,000 students enrolled in KCTCS to find quality, affordable health coverage and other benefits. This assistance is at no cost to the students.

The kynectors are stationed in offices on campus 40 hours per week to accommodate student schedules and ensure availability. They are being introduced at student orientations as well as to faculty, advisors and success coaches who often refer students for basic needs supports.

“KCTCS is very excited about the impact of the kynectors to current and prospective students,” said Jessie Schook, vice president of workforce and economic development at KCTCS. “They will provide connectivity to essential benefits and services such as affordable health care, SNAP and child care resources that will ultimately increase student success rates and improve workforce participation.”

“Kentucky is fortunate to be one of only a few states with this level of partnership support for student basic needs,” said Dr. Aaron Thompson, president of Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. “We’re thankful that Kentucky’s higher education institutions and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services will be working together to increase access for Kentucky students to stable sources of food, housing, affordable child care and other necessities to ensure student success and degree completion.”

The Governor also reminded Kentuckians that the open enrollment deadline to sign up for health care coverage through kynect is Jan. 16. Visit or call 855-459-6328 for more information.

Kentucky Antisemitism Task Force
Today, Gov. Beshear announced the formation of the Kentucky Antisemitism Task Force as a part of the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based Initiatives. The initial task force will have 18 members, including public officials as well as religious and community leaders. In addition, the police chiefs of Lexington and Louisville will be ex-officio members. The members will be responsible for conducting a comprehensive review of the state of antisemitism in the commonwealth, assessing Holocaust education in Kentucky and advising on training programs for law enforcement relating to hate crimes.

“There is no place for hate of any kind in Kentucky. We are one team: Team Kentucky. It is everyone’s responsibility to speak out loudly against hatred and violence, racism, antisemitism and Islamophobia,” said Gov. Beshear. “With this new task force, we are telling all Kentuckians of all faiths who are hurting during this time that we see you and we will keep fighting against hate.”

“I think this is a great opportunity for us as a state to come together, explore some of the reasons some people are scared of other groups and see what we can do as a state to bring people together,” said Sen. Karen Berg of Louisville. “I believe in the people of Kentucky. I believe that hate does not win in this state. Thank you, Governor, and I am very excited to get to work.”

“It’s a scary time to be Jewish, particularly when you have kids and grandkids who are most affected,” said Kentucky Antisemitism Task Force Chair Jonathan Miller. “That’s why the work of this task force is so important. It goes beyond the issue of antisemitism. It’s consistent with Andy Beshear’s administration of leading with the heart and focusing on the central commandment from the Hebrew Bible: to love your neighbor as yourself. I am proud to serve on this task force and look forward to the good work ahead.”

“We should all stand united against antisemitism to promote understanding and respect for all cultures and religions,” said Dr. Muhammad Babar, family medicine specialist. “Together, we can work towards a world where every individual is valued irrespective of their race, gender, belief system or sexual orientation.”

Kentucky Automated Vehicle Information System Rollout
The Governor reminded Kentuckians that the final phase of the Kentucky Automated Vehicle Information System, or KAVIS, will be rolled out in January to replace an outdated system. On Jan. 1, 2024, county clerk offices will not be able to process vehicle and boat registrations, transfer titles or issue license plates and disabled placards. Starting Jan. 8, batches of county clerks will resume services each day. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet expects the entire state to be back up and running by the end of the week. Online vehicle registration will also be unavailable. The change will not impact driver license issuance at Driver Licensing Regional Offices.

With the rollout of the new system, records will be linked to customers instead of vehicles. This means that Kentuckians will keep their license plates, and all plate owners can now carry over their remaining registration lifespan to a new vehicle. More information is available at

Cram the Cruiser
Gov. Beshear announced that this year, the Kentucky State Police collected 162,047 pounds of food from the annual statewide “Cram the Cruiser” food drive. The initiative, hosted by all 16 KSP posts, aims to collect essential food items to brighten the holiday season for those in need. Troopers accepted donations from Kentuckians at grocery and retail stores, as well as local post locations.

“Time and time again, our communities step up for their neighbors, and I am so proud to be a part of this amazing commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear. “To all those who donated, thank you. And thank you to our state police, who not only keep us safe day and night but work to meet the basic needs of our families. Because of everyone’s generosity and selflessness, thousands of Kentuckians will have a happier Christmas season, and for that, I am grateful.”

Forward, Together Budget Proposal
On Monday, the Governor unveiled his Forward, Together budget proposal, which prioritizes public education and families by funding the largest single pay raise for public school educators and staff in 40 years, fully funding universal pre-K and providing support for child care providers. To learn more, see the full release.

Team Kentucky All-Stars
Gov. Beshear named Santa Claus, along with everyone else working to make Christmas special this year, as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Star.

“This is the time of year when we lift up our friends, families and neighbors with the spirit of giving,” said Gov. Beshear. “For this week’s Team Kentucky All-Star, we wanted to recognize someone who truly embodies the spirit of giving: Santa. Santa brings so much joy to our kids across the commonwealth, not just with gifts but with hope, kindness and a little bit of magic.”