KENTUCKY (WEHT) – Governor Andy Beshear outlined his budget plan related to infrastructure improvements and investments in economic development and tourism.

The governor noted the state’s recent record-breaking economic growth, with more than $11.2 billion in new investments and 18,000 new full-time jobs in 2021 alone. The governor’s said that continuing economic development momentum will require a focus on modernizing infrastructure to attract the next major project. To address this, Governor Beshear’s budget calls for $250 million in one-time funds to develop a Site-Identification and Development program.

“This fund will help communities grow small sites into larger sites,” said Gov. Beshear. “It will help them prepare sites not just to be not shovel ready, but build ready. At a time when speed to market has never been more important, we must invest or get left behind.”

The Governor’s budget also includes $75 million to support a state-of-the-art agritech research and development center in the heart of Eastern Kentucky and $10 million in the city of Covington to support the construction and outfitting of a shared research and development lab facility to serve the life sector in the region. To improve critical infrastructure in the commonwealth, $250 million will be invested from the General Fund for Major Transportation Infrastructure Projects and $100 million to begin building electric vehicle charging station infrastructure.

The Governor also announced the following investments:

  • Nearly $500 million over the biennium for the Better Kentucky Cleaner Water Program.
  • $200 million to boost high-speed internet across the commonwealth.
  • $50 million from the General Fund to develop Kentucky’s general aviation airports, plus $6 million to support the construction of a new terminal building at the Barkley Regional Airport in Paducah.
  • $1.5 million each year to extend the Everybody Counts program.
  • $20 million each year to launch a competitive workforce initiative grant program.
  • $10 million per year to fund a Talent Attraction Media Campaign.
  • $2.5 million each year to train Ford workers on robotics and advanced manufacturing.
  • $700,000 each year to the Louisville Urban League for a program that trains disadvantaged Kentuckians toward obtaining a commercial driver’s license.
  • $200 million in one-time money from the General Fund to pay for work at State Parks and fund .preservation projects, maintenance, repair and new projects at parks across the commonwealth.
  • $10 million in ARPA funds to boost Kentucky’s tourism industry through a targeted marketing campaign
  • $10 million in ARPA funds to bolster Kentucky’s travel indsutry.
  • $10 million to help nonprofit arts organizations.

Governor Beshear also reminded Kentuckians that he will deliver his 2022 budget Address on Thursday.