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Local News

Gov. Beshear Provides Team Kentucky Update 3/14/24

 

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 14, 2024) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear provided an update on economic development; funding to improve parks and recreation spaces; medical cannabis; recent bill signings; new homes at a high-ground community; an award to support families in need; the 988 crisis hotline; funds from the Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhood grant program; Kentucky State Police drug seizures; and Easter at the Capitol. He also named the students who competed in this year’s Governor’s Cup academic competition as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars.

 

Economic Development
Gov. Beshear joined local officials and representatives from Goose Creek Candles, a family-owned candle, soap and wax melt manufacturer, to break ground on the company’s new distribution facility expansion project in Casey County, a $5 million investment creating 160 quality, Kentucky jobs.

 

On Wednesday, the Governor was joined by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen along with local and company leaders as Advanced Nano Parts cut the ribbon on an electric vehicle (EV) battery production facility in Elizabethtown. The nearly $50 million facility is creating 93 full-time jobs for Kentuckians.

 

The Governor also emphasized Kentucky’s role at the center of the EV revolution. The commonwealth will receive nearly $70 million as part of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program, which will help create up to 40 EV charging stations.

 

Funding to Improve Parks and Recreation Spaces
Gov. Beshear announced his selection of 32 projects that will receive a total of $3.9 million from the federally funded Land and Water Conservation Fund to upgrade parks and recreation spaces throughout the commonwealth.

 

Medical Cannabis
Gov. Beshear was joined by Sam Flynn, executive director of the Kentucky Medical Cannabis Program, to announce significant progress as the program builds technical capabilities and a regulatory framework ahead of the full implementation of Senate Bill 47, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2025.

 

The Beshear administration filed five new regulations that provide the framework for how Kentuckians with qualifying conditions can become cardholders. The regulations also establish qualification criteria, application requirements, card and renewal fees, digital registry ID cards, patient supply limits and additional documentation required for minors, caregivers and visiting patients. To learn more, visit kymedcan.ky.gov.

 

Recent Bill Signings
Gov. Beshear updated Kentuckians on two bills that he recently signed into law. The Governor signed House Bill 220, which amends a previous bill regarding step therapy protocol. The bill will now include biosimilars, or different versions of brand name drugs, that may offer more affordable treatment options to Kentuckians. It also ensures there are no differences in effectiveness and safety between biosimilars and name-brand options.

 

Gov. Beshear also signed Senate Bill 81, which modifies the membership of the governing board of the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation. The bill changes the board to 10 members appointed by the Governor from nominees submitted by the Governor’s Postsecondary Education Nominating Committee. It also adds the Secretary of the Finance Cabinet as a voting member, and adds nonvoting advisors, such as the president of the Council on Postsecondary Education.

 

The Cottages at Thompson Branch
Gov. Beshear announced that through an innovative partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the first two homes were delivered to the high-ground community The Cottages at Thompson Branch in Letcher County, and families are preparing to move in. This marks the first new homes in any high-ground community. Next, with donations from the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund, exterior amenities like shutters and landscaping will be added, making the homes more beautiful and resilient.

 

The nonprofit housing partner Homes Inc. will build eight more homes for flood survivors at The Cottages at Thompson Branch. For information on how to become a homeowner, contact Homes Inc. at HomesIncorporated.org.

 

Award to Support Kentucky Families in Need
The Doris Duke Foundation named Kentucky one of four pilot sites to receive funding as part of a new initiative called Opportunities for Prevention and Transformation, or Opt-in for Families. The commonwealth will receive $9 million over three years to directly support families in need and prevent abuse. This includes connecting families to food assistance, mental health resources, parent skill-building classes, clothing closets and other services in their communities. The funding will continue the work the Beshear administration is doing with a pilot program in 10 counties called Community Response.

 

“With help from our partners at the Doris Duke Foundation, this funding will allow us to expand our early intervention efforts to more counties and more families,” said Gov. Beshear. “Thank you to the foundation and thank you to all of our partners who are addressing family needs at the community level.”

 

988 Crisis Hotline
Gov. Beshear attended the 988 Leadership Conference in Frankfort to provide an update on the lifeline. The 988 crisis hotline connects Kentuckians facing thoughts of suicide, mental health distress or an addiction crisis to compassionate and trained counselors who can help. To date, 988 has received more than 67,500 calls, 18,500 text messages and 13,000 online chats from Kentuckians. Currently, calls are being answered within an average of 25 seconds, seven seconds faster than the national average.

 

The Governor also announced progress made in ensuring Kentuckians battling addiction find the help they need. The updated website FindHelpNowKy.org now simplifies the search for the lifesaving drug Naloxone, mental health resources and recovery housing. Since the site became available in 2018, it has been used over 240,000 times to help Kentuckians find treatment.

 

Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhood Grants
The Governor announced that Frankfort will receive more than $20 million through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods Grant Program to reconstruct Holmes Street Corridor. The city of Frankfort is also supporting the project with $7 million in matching funds. The project includes planting trees, enhancing signage, widening sidewalks, improving public transportation and more.

 

The city of Bowling Green was also awarded $11 million to improve safety along Veterans Memorial Boulevard. The improvements will include a roundabout and improved pedestrian crossings with wider sidewalks. The project will also make it easier for families to access a park and elementary school.

 

KSP February Drug Seizures
Gov. Beshear announced the total value of Kentucky State Police’s drug seizures in February amounted to over $4.8 million. This was accompanied by 238 drug-related arrests. In 2023, KSP drug seizures amounted to nearly $8.5 million.

 

“Thank you, KSP, for your lifesaving efforts,” said Gov. Beshear. “Since Day One, we have been committed to becoming a national leader in public safety, and each day, we are renewing our commitment to that mission and to building a better, safer Kentucky for all our families.”

 

Easter at the Capitol
The Governor invited Kentuckians to celebrate Easter at the Capitol on Saturday, March 23, at 2 p.m. EDT on the South Lawn of the Capitol – the outdoor space between the Capitol and the Capitol Annex. The event will include family activities such as an Easter egg hunt, games, crafts, food trucks and a visit with the Easter Bunny.

 

“I look forward to this event every year, and I love seeing the kids’ excitement as they participate in all the activities around the Capitol lawn,” said Gov. Beshear. “As warmer weather approaches, we can all be excited to gather as a community and celebrate brighter days ahead. We look forward to seeing everyone next Saturday.”

 

Team Kentucky All-Stars
On Monday, the Governor helped hand out awards to students from across the commonwealth who had placed in the Governor’s Cup academic competition. He recognized the students’ hard work and named them as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars.

 

“All of these kids who participated in the competition – whether they took home a trophy or not – are leaders in their communities. They work hard towards goals and challenge themselves to expand their knowledge and way of thinking,” said Gov. Beshear. “I am very proud of these students and can’t wait to see what all they accomplish.”

 

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