FRANKFORT, Ky (WEHT) – Governor Andy Beshear updated Kentuckians on disaster recovery, his budget’s proposal to fund universal pre-K, employment statistics, economic development, COVID-19 and a new regional hydrogen hub workgroup. He also signed a proclamation declaring Joe B. Hall Day in the commonwealth.

In terms of FEMA awards and the Western Kentucky Relief Fund, checks should go out within the next two weeks. The Governor said if Kentuckians haven’t signed up yet for individual assistance through FEMA and think they may qualify, they should apply now. The final deadline to apply is February 11.

Lieutenant Governor Coleman said universal pre-K, which the Governor’s budget funds for all 4-year-olds, would provide a strong foundation for kids, ensure great cost savings for families, promote immediate and long-term academic success, and boost the workforce. “Only about 30% of 4-year-olds in Kentucky are enrolled in preschool. That means up to 70% of our kids are behind before they walk in the door on their first day of kindergarten,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman. “By funding pre-K for every 4-year-old in the state, we are ensuring a child’s ZIP code or socioeconomic status does not predetermine their educational outcomes.”

The Kentucky Regional Hydrogen Hub Workgroup has been launched. The primary purpose of the group will be to develop projects eligible for funding under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Creation Act of 2021. Workgroup stakeholders will consist of academic institutions, individuals, organizations, and business focused on hydrogen production, transportation, delivery, and end use utilization opportunities.

Joe B. Hall Day is on January 20. The Governor signed a proclamation declaring Joe B. Hall Day in the commonwealth, to honor the life and legacy of the beloved University of Kentucky men’s basketball coach. Coach Hall, from Cynthiana, passed away January 15 at age 93. Coach Hall won a national championship in 1948 while playing for UK and won another national championship in 1978 as head coach. In retirement, he continued to mentor UK men’s basketball players and alumni and could often be found on the sidelines cheering them on. “There’s no question that in basketball and in life, he left it all on the court,” said Governor Beshear. “Fly high, coach.”