KENTUCKY (WEHT) – Governor Andy Beshear updated Kentuckians on Thursday on economic development, new legislation, COVID-19, the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast and the Easter celebration at the State Capitol. He also named Kentucky State Police Cadet Class 101 as Team Kentucky All-Stars.

New jobs and investment

Over the past week, Governor Beshear announced 212 new Kentucky jobs and $100 million in private investment in the commonwealth.

F&E Aircraft Maintenance LLC, a provider of aircraft maintenance and engineering services, will locate a new three-bay hangar at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, creating nearly 250 full-time positions, including at least 124 Kentucky-resident jobs, with a $40.2 million investment. The governor also shared news of Bardstown Bourbon Co.’s distillery expansion in Nelson County, which is expected to create 29 full-time jobs and increase the operation’s annual capacity by approximately 55,000 barrels.

G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers Inc. will invest $8.9 million toward a new facility in Maysville, creating approximately 73 jobs with at least 45 of those positions allocated to Kentuckians. Augusta Distillery LLC’s new operation in Bracken County will create 14 jobs for Kentucky residents.

Governor signs bills into law

Governor Beshear signed five pieces of legislation recently passed by the General Assembly. The following bills will become law on their effective date:

  • House Bill 564 – Requires that early, in-person voting is available for at least eight hours between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday prior to an election. Governor Beshear says this bill will ensure that Kentucky’s expansion of voting options continues. The bill won bipartisan support in the General Assembly and is supported by the State Board of Elections.
  • Senate Bill 10 – Helps colleges and universities that face barriers to expanding their nursing program.
  • Senate Bill 105 – Also known as Bella Dawn Streeval’s Law, will help newborns, children and families by increasing awareness and screenings for the cytomegalovirus (CMV), a virus that can cause childhood deafness and other health challenges. Bella Dawn Streeval passed away two years ago after suffering from CMV. Her mother, Sarah Streeval, was at the signing and said that Bella’s spirit may live on inside those affected by the law.
  • House Bill 494 – Provides regulatory oversight of the student education loan servicing industry in Kentucky for the first time. About 600,000 Kentuckians have outstanding federal student loans. This legislation empowers the Department of Financial Institutions, or DFI, with the tools to protect consumers here before harm occurs. Under this bill’s provisions, DFI will be able to address unlicensed activity and prohibit deceptive acts and practices. It also provides for enhanced penalties for any violations involving the military, public servants and older borrowers.
  • House Bill 525 – Codifies an existing program administered by the Department for Medicaid Services, which requires Medicaid reimbursement for certain services provided by certified community health workers. It also establishes a formal CHW certification program and requires the Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance Program to reimburse for certain services provided by CHWs.

In addition to signing these bills, Governor Beshear also vetoed House Bill 9, which he called unconstitutional. According to Beshear, the bill would send taxpayer dollars to charter schools that have boards that are not elected by or answerable to the people and that are not required to comply with the same controls and accountability measures as traditional public schools.

COVID-19 update

Dr. Steven Stack spoke during the conference, saying that the state’s COVID-19 community level map is the best it has ever been, with 114 green/low incidence rate counties, six yellow/medium incidence rate counties and zero red/high incidence rate counties. Dr. Stack said state leaders will stay vigilant in monitoring the omicron BA.2 variant, but regardless of any new variant, Kentuckians know what they need to do to best protect themselves from COVID-19 by keeping up tot date on their vaccinations and adjusting behaviors according to the community level map.

Beshear invites Kentuckians to Governor’s Prayer Breakfast, Easter Celebration

Governor Beshear will host his first Governor’s Prayer Breakfast on the State Capitol’s South Lawn on April 13. State leaders from all three branches of government will join religious leaders to recognize Kentuckians living their faith through service to others. On April 16, the Governor will host a prayer service and Easter egg hunt for Kentucky families on the State Capitol Terrace. The Easter Celebration is free to attend.

“After such a difficult two years, these celebrations are going to mean even more, and I can’t wait to enjoy them with my family and with so many other Kentucky families,” Gov. Beshear said.

Team Kentucky All-Stars

Governor Beshear recognized KSP Cadet Class 101 as Team Kentucky All-Stars, after their graduation from the agency’s basic training academy March 25. Cadet Class 101 was the largest KSP basic training academy graduating class since 2014 with 71 cadets.

“These 71 men and women completed 24 weeks of some of the most intense training they will probably ever receive, all so they can respond to emergencies and provide assistance when their fellow Kentuckians are facing some of the darkest days of their lives,” Gov. Beshear said. “No matter the emergency facing the commonwealth, KSP shows up, all while continuing to answer countless calls for service to assist Kentuckians who are afraid and in danger. Let’s all commit to these 71 cadets that as one state – working together – we will be their keepers and show them support and gratitude for their service to our great commonwealth.”