Funding for Kentucky veterans, military construction, and energy and water infrastructure priorities have been secured by the US Senate’s Conference Report.
Once the House passes the Conference Report, it will be sent to President Donald Trump for his signature.
“This legislation supports national priorities with significant impacts. In Kentucky, these resources will spur construction of training facilities at Fort Campbell and Fort Knox. This bill also expands resources for in-house VA medical services and broadens community options for veterans seeking vital treatment through funding of the VA MISSION Act,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said. “Another critical part of this legislation will equip the Army Corps of Engineers to carry out construction and maintenance of inland waterways infrastructure, critical flood damage reduction efforts, and other infrastructure improvements in Appalachia. And finally, this bill directs resources to the important environmental cleanup efforts in Paducah. By passing this legislation, the Senate is making critical progress in the appropriations process and making a positive impact in Kentucky.”
Senator McConnell said the following projects were secured in the report:
- $26 million for a Digital Air/Ground Integration Range at Fort Knox
- $32 million for a Vehicle Maintenance Shop at Fort Campbell
- $62.6 million for the Fort Campbell Middle School
- $5.4 million for a Special Operations Forces Logistics Support Operations Facility at Fort Campbell
- $9.1 million for a Special Operations Forces Air/Ground Integration Urban Live Fire Range at Fort Campbell
- $5.1 million for a Special Operations Forces Multi-Use Helicopter Training Facility at Fort Campbell
- $206 million to support cleanup and deactivation work at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, which supports over 1,000 jobs in Western Kentucky.
- $165 million for the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), which supports economic development in Eastern Kentucky. This funding includes $50 million to support communities impacted by the downturn in the coal sector, and $16 million for basic infrastructure improvements to distressed counties in Central Appalachia.
- $35 million to support the completion of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Olmsted Locks and Dam project, and funding for other important water infrastructure construction projects—like Kentucky Lock—to help Kentucky’s maritime workers move products like agriculture and coal more efficiently to market.
- $740 million for the Fossil Energy Research and Development Program, which includes support for research on clean coal technology as well as for research on rare earth elements.
- $25 million for the Delta Regional Authority, which supports economic and infrastructure development in the Mississippi Delta region, including a number of counties in Western Kentucky.
- Language encouraging USACE to continue to study expanding recreational white water rafting opportunities at the Breaks Interstate Park in Eastern Kentucky.
- Language supporting research into the exploration and development of unconventional oil and gas reservoirs, such as the Rogersville shale, which runs through Eastern Kentucky.
(This story was originally published on September 13, 2018)