Gov. Beshear Provides Team Kentucky Update

Editor’s note: To view the Governor’s Team Kentucky Update, click here.


FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 11, 2024) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear was joined by First Lady Britainy Beshear to provide an update on higher education enrollment; strong General Fund receipts from December 2023; Human Trafficking Prevention Month; donating blood; inclement winter weather; grants to implement crisis co-response programs; a state of emergency for the city of Fleming-Neon; and the Kentucky Automated Vehicle Information System rollout.

Higher Education Enrollment
Gov. Beshear announced that Kentucky had the highest fall-to-fall total higher education enrollment gains in the nation. Kentucky also ranked second in undergraduate enrollment and fourth in graduate enrollment. Between fall 2022 and fall 2023, the commonwealth experienced 5.6% overall enrollment growth, including a 5.5% growth in undergraduate enrollment as well as a 4.9% increase in graduate enrollment.

“We aren’t just No. 1 in the country in college enrollment, but we are No. 2 in college completions. Our goal to have 60% of our citizens with a postsecondary credential is the only way we are going to have the workforce to get us where we need to go,” said Dr. Aaron Thompson, president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. “We can’t leave anyone behind in that process, whether you are low-income or a person of color. No matter who it is, we have a place for you in our education.”

“A vital part of our mission at Bluegrass Community and Technical College is being an open-access institution – by meeting students where they are with wrap-around services and investments in their success,” said BCTC President Greg Feeney. “We had a 13.5% increase in enrollment this past fall and our retention is up by 3.5%. A great deal of this success is due to our partnerships with the Governor, the General Assembly, the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education and our industry partners. We are stronger together.”

“The thing that I think is most important for the commonwealth, what is most important for all of us, is that we’re thinking about tomorrow, that we’re thinking about what’s next. And what’s next is an economy that’s going to require some post-secondary credential for us to be everything we want to be here in Kentucky,” said Eastern Kentucky University President David McFaddin. “So, if I could leave a message to everyone out there, it’s that your universities, your community colleges and higher education, we stand ready to help make Kentucky the very best version of what it can be.”

December General Fund Receipts
The Governor announced that December’s General Fund receipts saw a 5.1% increase in collections over December 2022 and totaled more than $1.5 billion according to a report by State Budget Director John Hicks. This marks the 16th month with revenues over $1 billion. The report also indicates that the commonwealth is seeing wage gains.

“I want Kentuckians to know that my priority is to continue to work with your lawmakers to pass a budget plan that takes advantage of our strong finances by making key investments that lift up our families and communities,” said Gov. Beshear. “We are not going to focus on moving the state to the left or the right, just forward, together.”

Human Trafficking Prevention Month
The Governor and First Lady recognized January as Human Trafficking Prevention Month, a time to educate citizens about identifying and preventing the crime. To view the Governor’s proclamation in recognition of the month, click here. The Beshears encouraged Kentuckians to call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888, text the hotline at 233733 or visit if they suspect someone is a victim.

“Across the globe, nearly 27.6 million people are subjected to human trafficking, including cases here in the commonwealth. Team Kentucky is not going to stand by and accept these statistics,” said Mrs. Beshear. “We will always help victims of this horrendous crime and do our part to end it.”

This week, the Kentucky State Police is participating in the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative. The purpose is to raise awareness and educate commercial motor vehicle drivers, motor carriers, law enforcement officers and the public about the crime of human trafficking, the signs to look for and what to do if you suspect someone is being trafficked. To submit a report, visit the new KSP tipline at

Blood Shortage Awareness
For National Blood Donor Month, the Governor and Mrs. Beshear encouraged Kentuckians to visit to find a blood drive or donation location near them and donate blood to help those in need.

“Unfortunately, the number of U.S. blood donors has reached an all-time low when we look at the past 20 years. This week, the Red Cross declared an emergency blood shortage and asked for people to donate. Blood is not only needed during surgeries, but also for critical plasma and platelet therapies. We also never know when a disaster may strike,” said the First Lady. “Don’t wait. Make an appointment today to give blood or platelets to help ensure people receive the care they need.”

“Red Cross blood donations ensure that we are prepared for any blood need that may arise – whenever and wherever it’s needed,” said Steve Cunanan, CEO of the American Red Cross Kentucky Region. “Individuals are needed to donate now and throughout the winter to help patients that are counting on this lifesaving blood. I invite you, your friends and your family to join in this simple act of kindness.”

Inclement Winter Weather
Gov. Beshear encouraged Kentuckians to prepare for upcoming inclement winter weather. Over the next week, the commonwealth is expected to experience severe weather conditions, including thunderstorms, snow, rain, strong winds and extremely cold weather. Visit for tips and traffic information. For more information and tips to prepare for the winter, visit

Mobile Crisis Response Awards
Gov. Beshear announced the next step toward becoming a national leader in mental health care as more than $4.7 million in federal and state funds are being provided to seven municipalities to implement community crisis co-response programs in the commonwealth. The partnerships between behavioral health professionals, law enforcement or other first responders and local governments are intended to lower the distress of individuals in crisis and avoid unnecessary hospitalizations and incarcerations while extending crisis services to communities.

The funding was announced through a Cabinet for Health and Family Services grant that Medicaid administers, and communities were invited last fall to apply. The next round of funding will be posted to the Office of Administrative Services’ Grants Opportunities webpage this fall.

Today’s awardees include:

  • Boyle County Fiscal Court
  • Christian County Fiscal Court
  • Cynthiana Police Department
  • Lexington Fayette Urban County Government
  • Maysville Police Department
  • Perry County Ambulance Authority
  • Warren County Sheriff’s Office 

Several grant recipients sent videos about what the funding will do in their communities. To see the video provided by Maysville Police Chief Michael Palmer, click here. To see the video Boyle County Judge/Executive Trille Bottom provided, click here. To see a video provided by Perry County EMT Scott Helle, click here.

“This grant will allow us to better care for the patients in our community experiencing mental health crises,” said Mike Rogers, director of Boyle County Emergency Medical Services. “The implementation of this grant in Danville will ease the burden on our law enforcement, hospital, judicial system and emergency services.”

Christian County Judge/Executive Jerry Gilliam said, “We are excited about this opportunity to help our law enforcement and first responders connect individuals to behavioral health services, ensuring a continuity of behavioral health care.”

“This will be an invaluable resource to the most vulnerable members of our citizenry,” said Robert Peak, assistant chief of the Cynthiana Police Department. “Realizing that mental health and chemical dependency cannot be fully addressed by traditional police strategies is key to implementing programs such as this. To say our agency is appreciative of this grant would be an understatement, and we look forward to the challenges and impactful potential of this endeavor.”

“This grant award will provide an innovative resource to our first responders who are called to individuals experiencing behavioral and mental health emergencies,” said Lexington Fire Department Captain Seth Lockard. “To be on the front of these programs, we hope to learn from our fellow communities working in this space and hope to become a resource for communities that decide to develop similar programs in the future.”

Warren County Sheriff Brett Hightower said, “Having qualified professionals working alongside our team of law enforcement will help expedite and assess the needed care for those in crisis, which better serves our community.”

State of Emergency for City of Fleming-Neon
Yesterday, Gov. Beshear issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency for the city of Fleming-Neon in Letcher County, as limited rainfall in 2023 left the city without sufficient water. To learn more, see the full release.

Kentucky Automated Vehicle Information System Rollout
The Governor provided an update on the rollout of the Kentucky Automated Vehicle Information System, or KAVIS. So far, 90 counties have performed transactions on the new system. Access to KAVIS will be available to all counties by the end of this week. Most county clerk offices are expected to be open to the public by the end of next week. Online vehicle registration renewal has resumed statewide. Since the start of business Monday, KAVIS has collected over $8.4 million in fees for the state. More information is available at

Team Kentucky All-Stars
The Governor named those working to prepare and respond to the upcoming inclement weather as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars. He thanked the state, county and local leaders for their work to make sure roads are safe and Kentucky families have the information and resources they need.

“We have been through so much together, and your leadership in times of tough weather is so appreciated,” said Gov. Beshear. “As we approach these next several days, let’s continue to work together and make sure everyone stays safe.”