FRANKFORT, Ky. — Thursday, Gov. Andy Beshear held the first Team Kentucky Update in the Capitol Rotunda.
After more than 15 months of fighting the pandemic and hosting more than 250 news conferences to keep Kentuckians informed, the Governor said Kentuckians will still have a regular opportunity to hear directly from him and other state leaders.
“The weekly update is an opportunity to provide Kentuckians and the media with information about what is going on in our great state as we emerge from this pandemic and become a leader in the post-COVID economy,” Gov. Beshear said. “While we are no longer in a COVID crisis and we have concluded our regular COVID briefings – I still wanted to have a chance to share good news with you directly – and with all our Kentucky families.”
Updates are scheduled to be held at 12:30 p.m. EDT every Thursday. Journalists are invited to attend and ask questions and Kentuckians can watch live on the Governor’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. The weekly updates will include topics that Kentucky families want to hear about, like education, health care and job growth. The Governor will also highlight Kentuckians who are working to build a better commonwealth.
Today, the Governor shared positive mid-year economic development results and updated Kentuckians on vaccine efforts and a health care victory at the U.S. Supreme Court.
U.S. Supreme Court
Today, Gov. Beshear and a coalition of states won a U.S. Supreme Court case, California v. Texas, that upholds the Affordable Care Act, protecting health care coverage for 1.8 million Kentuckians and millions more Americans with pre-existing medical conditions. To learn more, see the full news release.
Economic Development Growth
Today, Gov. Beshear highlighted Kentucky’s private-sector new-location and expansion announcements from the first half of 2021, which show an economy ramping up for post-pandemic growth. In 2021, companies have announced more than $2 billion in new investments expected to create over 4,000 full-time jobs with an average incentivized hourly wage of $23.15 before benefits. Economic growth in Kentucky is outpacing last year’s figures, with several key industries playing a pivotal role in building back the state’s economy. To learn more, see the full release.
Gov. Beshear also announced that MAB Fabrication Inc., which manufactures awnings and steel structures for greenhouses, garden centers and big-box stores, will locate a new production operation in Walton, creating 24 full-time jobs for Kentucky residents in the coming months with a $6.9 million investment. To learn more, see the full release.
Better Kentucky Plan
Gov. Beshear updated Kentuckians on his Better Kentucky Plan, which allocates $1.3 billion in American Rescue Plan Act funds to boost the economy by delivering clean drinking water, building new schools and expanding access to broadband while creating 14,500 jobs.
The Governor announced that, since launching the call for projects on June 1, the Cleaner Water Program has received 141 requests for funding representing 46 counties and totaling more than $343 million, with funding announcements expected this summer. The Kentucky Schools Facilities Construction Commission selected 13 schools for Better Schools program funding and is awaiting additional guidance from the U.S. Department of the Treasury to determine how and when funding will be allocated. The Governor also mentioned that the Better Internet Program is finalizing a Request for Information (RFI) to solicit input from potential broadband providers. The RFI is expected to be finalized by the end of June, with proposals from providers accepted sometime in July. To learn more about the Better Kentucky Plan, click here.
Ribbon-Cutting for Crown Recovery Center in Springfield
Monday, Gov. Beshear joined Addiction Recovery Care, a leading provider of treatment and recovery services across the commonwealth, at the ribbon-cutting for ARC’s newest residential treatment center, Crown Recovery Center, in Springfield. It is the state’s largest and most comprehensive addiction treatment center, offering a full continuum of care for individuals seeking long-term recovery from substance use disorders. Once operating at full capacity, it will be able to serve more than 700 individuals. To learn more, see ARC’s full release.
Shot at a Million
Kentucky’s Shot at a Million sweepstakes is an incentive for Kentuckians to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Three winners, drawn on three separate occasions, will each win $1 million. For Kentuckians age 12-17, who are ineligible for the money drawing, there are 15 chances to win a full scholarship, including room-and-board, tuition and books, to any public Kentucky college, university, trade or technical school. To date, 414,584 Kentuckians have registered for a chance at $1 million and 23,080 Kentucky youth have registered for the chance to win a full scholarship. The winners of the first drawing will be announced on Friday, July 2. Learn more and sign up for your Shot at a Million at shotatamillion.ky.gov.
The Governor also said the Troubadour Concert Series is hosting COVID-Free Concerts at the historic Cardome in Georgetown, happening every week now through June 29. If you are fully vaccinated, you qualify for a free ticket to any or all of the COVID-Free concerts at Cardome. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, anyone age 12 and up can get vaccinated for free at the concert. The vaccines are being administered by Wild Health, which has partnered with the Beshear administration throughout the pandemic to administer thousands of COVID-19 tests and vaccinations. For more information visit, covidfreeconcert.com.
Gov. Beshear said Thursday that, while the federal eviction moratorium is ending June 30, Kentucky’s Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund is open until Sept. 30, 2022, and has about $200 million left to assist Kentuckians with up to 15 months of rent and utilities. To date, Team Kentucky has helped Kentuckians with more than 5,500 rent and utility payments totaling more than $20.3 million in assistance. Just last week, the Kentucky Housing Corporation, an important partner in administering the HHERF, paid out more than $2 million from the fund to Kentuckians in need, which is up 15% from the week before.
Kentuckians can submit an application today at teamkyhherf.ky.gov if they live outside of Lexington or Louisville. To apply in Fayette County, visit covid19renterhelp.org. To apply in Jefferson County, visit stopmyeviction.org.
Team Kentucky All-Stars
The Governor highlighted two Kentuckians who are true Team Kentucky All-Stars.
Milo Golding, a student at Lexington Christian Academy, won the national Doodle for Google competition this week. The Governor hosted a celebration for Milo with Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton on Monday at City Hall. Milo was awarded a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 technology package for his school. Milo’s art, titled “Finding Hope,” was inspired by the words of his late father and stood above thousands of submissions from across the country. Milo said, “Regardless of life’s hardships and uncertainties, hope is always there. It’s our job to find that hope in order to move forward.”
“Milo and his work left me feeling inspired, and I know it will have the same impact on others. He’s a remarkable kid and we in Kentucky are so proud of what he accomplished,” the Governor said.
Sean Sullivan, of Frankfort, is the only American competing in the European Firefit Championship this week. Sean is an Air Force Veteran and served on the Frankfort Fire Department for 20 years. In May, the Governor met Sean and officially named him a Kentucky Colonel.
“We are proud of him,” Gov. Beshear said. “Kentucky, let’s join together and cheer Sean on during this week’s major event.”