Beshear signs bills to expand voting, broadband internet


FRANKFORT, Ky. (WEHT) Gov. Andy Beshear has signed legislation to increase early voting in Kentucky. He also signed four bills related to the American Rescue Plan Act.

House Bill 320 and House Bill 382

House Bill 320 and House Bill 382 provides $300 million to the Broadband Deployment Fund to expand broadband in unserved and underserved communities. House Bill 382 includes $140 million in state funds for full-day kindergarten. The bill also directs $575 million of the American Rescue Plan funds to the repayment of a federal unemployment insurance loan.

House Bill 556

House Bill 556 provides $127 million for school construction and $75 million for renovation costs for local vocational schools. This legislation also includes $20 million of funding to rural hospitals.

Senate Bill 36

Senate Bill 36 allocates $250 million in grant funds to provide upgrades to water and sewer infrastructure in communities across the commonwealth. The Better Kentucky Recovery Fund will replace or lay new pipelines to provide clean drinking water and improve sanitary water systems, modernizing infrastructure without raising rates while creating 3,800 to 5,800 direct and indirect jobs.

House Bill 574

House Bill 574 gives Kentucky voters three days of no-excuse, early in-person voting before Election Day. It also allows counties to establish voting centers where any registered voter in each county can cast their ballot, regardless of their precinct.

(This story was originally published on April 7, 2021)

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