Gov. Beshear Provides Team Kentucky Update

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 18, 2024) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear provided an update on economic development; Second Chance Month; funding for affordable housing; a new facility in Elliott County; medical cannabis; action taken on recent bills; and the Team Kentucky Derby Week Kick-Off. He also named Kentucky’s military children as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars to honor April as the Month of the Military Child.

Economic Development
Last week, Gov. Beshear joined leaders at Kruger Packaging to visit the company’s new $113 million package manufacturing operation in Elizabethtown. The project, announced in May 2021, is creating nearly 150 jobs for Kentuckians in the region.

Tomorrow, the Governor will join U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Deputy Secretary David Turk and executives from Wieland, a major metal fabricator, to celebrate the company’s Advanced Copper Recycling Facility. Wieland intends to expand its U.S. recycling capacity and capabilities through significant investments in advanced, state-of-the-art copper scrap metal processing technology in Shelbyville. The nearly $875 million project, led by Wieland and which received a $270 million contribution from DOE, could be the largest investment in Shelby County’s history and is expected to create as many as 200 permanent jobs. The company will prioritize hiring from the Shelby County community and plans to create an internship program through Kentucky State University and Simmons College of Kentucky.

Second Chance Month
Gov. Beshear announced a website, which connects Kentuckians overcoming addiction or leaving incarceration to resources that can help them find a job, get an education and support their continued recovery. The website was launched in conjunction with nationally recognized Second Chance Month. The month is dedicated to supporting those who have paid their debt to society and are returning to their communities to live productive lives.

Several Kentuckians attended the update to show their support, including Kentucky Dam Village Park Manager Scot Ratzlaff; Sarah Young, a cook hired at the Kentucky Dam Village Park through the reentry program; Barbara Aker, family pride director for More than a Bakery in Versailles; and Dr. John Gregory, who oversees the state’s Office of Adult Education. To learn more, see the full release.

Affordable Housing Funding
Team Kentucky awarded $23 million this week to fund housing development projects that will serve homeless, low-income and elderly Kentuckians. The money is a reallocation of Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA2) funds awarded through the American Rescue Plan Act, which required all funds to be spent by September 2025.

New $4.6 Million Elliott County Facility
The Governor announced that a memorandum of agreement has been signed and work is set to begin on a $4.6 million combination emergency services center in Elliott County that will serve as an emergency operations center, 911 call center and fire department, with multiple bays for the storage and deployment of emergency services vehicles and staff. The structure will also serve as a classroom for first responders’ continuing education and, in time of need, as a warming center and shelter for the residents of Elliott County.

Medical Cannabis
Gov. Beshear was joined by Sam Flynn, executive director of the Kentucky Medical Cannabis Program, to announce significant steps toward ensuring Kentuckians with qualifying conditions have access to medical cannabis as soon as possible.

The Governor signed House Bill 829, which moves the timeline to begin licensing cannabis businesses up six months, from Jan. 1, 2025, the original date under Senate Bill 47, to July 2024. New regulations have been established to meet the quicker timeline. Gov. Beshear also announced that, with a partnership with the Kentucky Lottery Corp., the state will issue medical cannabis business licenses using a lottery system. To learn more about new regulations and how to participate in the regulatory process, visit

Legislative Action
The Governor updated Kentuckians on legislation he has acted on recently.

“This session provided the chance to make some key investments through our budget for the next biennium,” said Gov. Beshear. “We worked with the legislature throughout the process, and although we didn’t see all the changes we would have liked, we do have a lot of positive progress Kentuckians can be excited about.”

The Governor signed House Bill 13 regarding the state’s site development program, the Kentucky Product Development Initiative, or KPDI. The new budget includes $70 million for the program.

The budget also includes $130 million to support approved mega projects of at least $10 million. Included is an exception for certain economic development projects as recommended by the Cabinet for Economic Development based on unique conditions of the county where the project may occur, including but not limited to population, per capita income or county wages that are lower than the median for the state. Funding will ensure sites and infrastructure are attractive to projects considering no more than two other states and at least one site in the commonwealth.

The budget, in Senate Bill 91, includes another historic investment of $300 million from the General Fund for major transportation infrastructure projects. These funds are intended to ensure that Kentucky can effectively compete for federal funding for two major projects: the I-69 Ohio River crossing in Henderson and the Mountain Parkway Extension project completion between Salyersville and Prestonsburg. These funds give Kentucky a better chance at leveraging new federal funding from the Multimodal Project Discretionary Grant program.

The budget includes $150 million for two new programs: an emergency fund for troubled or economically restrained water and wastewater systems and other assistance for these systems. The budget also includes $184 million for 40 specific water and wastewater projects throughout the commonwealth. These projects have been included in local planning efforts through the Area Development Districts Water Management Planning Councils and the Water Resource Information System and will be administered through the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority. The process for utility applications is being developed and will be announced once completed.

The General Assembly, at the request of the Governor, increased the limit the budget set on spending in response to disasters. The higher limit of $50 million will now be associated with the state’s immediate response to disasters, and the $25 million limit is now related to the amount of state funding that matches the FEMA project awards.

This session, the Governor has signed 169 bills, including:

  • House Bill 469, which officially establishes the Purple Star Schools Program and sets requirements for eligibility. The program helps schools provide educational and social support resources to Kentucky military families.
  • Senate Bill 74, which ensures access to critical prenatal and post-birth care for new moms and babies. The bill increases health care coverage for expecting mothers and provides increased services and accessibility to mental health care.

Team Kentucky Derby Week Kick-Off
Gov. Beshear invited Kentuckians to attend the Team Kentucky Derby Week Kick-Off on the South Lawn of the Capitol – the outdoor space between the Capitol and the Capitol Annex – on Saturday, April 27. The event will include family activities such as live music, food trucks, games and crafts. Commonfest is also returning to offer beer and spirits from dozens of Kentucky breweries and distilleries.

Team Kentucky All-Stars
The Governor highlighted that April is the Month of the Military Child and said that First Lady Britainy Beshear will visit some of Kentucky’s military children at Fort Knox tomorrow. To celebrate and honor the commonwealth’s 40,000 military children and the sacrifices they make, Gov. Beshear named Kentucky’s military families, as well as educators who are part of the Purple Star Schools Program, as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars.

“These are kids who make sacrifices daily so that their loved ones can serve and protect our country,” said Gov. Beshear. “While these kids don’t wear the uniform, their bravery and sacrifice make a big impact.”