Beshear announces proposed investments in infrastructure and other areas to capitalize on growth opportunities

Kentucky has seen record investments from companies in the last year. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says he wants to see the state continue to grow and detailed the infrastructure, economic development, and tourism investments in his budget proposal on Tuesday.

After announcing his proposal for education spending Monday, Beshear said he wants to pair record investment in education with investments in Kentucky’s infrastructure, agritech, and more.

He said his budget is one of the most fiscally responsible budgets in recent history that pays down pension debt, saves money in the “rainy day” fund, and has the lowest debt ratio in recent memory.

The investments detailed by Beshear Tuesday include:

  • $250 million in one-time funds to develop a site identification and development program to ensure communities are ready for investments like the recent Ford investment Hardin County
  • $75 million for agritech research
  • $10m for shared a research and development lab facility in Covington to support the life sciences sector in the region
  • $185 million over three years for the state match to bring in $774.7 million in additional federal money for federal highway infrastructure to work on the Mountain Parkway, I-69, and a partner bridge for the Brent Spence Bridge in coming years
  • $100 million to begin building up Kentucky’s electric charging stations and other EV infrastructure as Ford is building more electric cars with new investment
  • $500 million in grants and low interest loans to improve water and sewer systems
  • $200 million to boost high-speed internet across the state
  • $50 million from the General Fund to develop Kentucky’s general aviation airports and $6 million to support the construction of a new terminal building at the Barkley Regional Airport in Paducah
  • $1.5 million in each year of the budget to support the “Everybody Counts” initiative to ensure every graduating senior from JCPS has a path forward
  • $20 million in each year to launch a competitive workforce initiative grant program where public and private schools will be able to apply secure funding for programs connecting students directly to employers
  • $10 million per year to fund a Talent Attraction Media Campaign to bring new individuals into Kentucky’s workforce
  • $2.5 million in 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 individuals to earn a commercial drivers license (CDL) for a career with an extremely competitive wage
  • $200 million in one-time money from the General Fund to pay for needed work to Kentucky State Parks
  • $10 million in ARPA funds to boost Kentucky’s tourism through a targeted marketing campaign

“When we look at this last year and we look at the opportunities ahead of us, it is clear that our time is here and our future is now. There is no question we have arrived. But having arrived, we must make the investments necessary to stay,” Gov. Beshear said.

While Beshear is discussing different parts of his budget at press conferences this week, he will still be giving his Budget Address on Thursday.

Stay tuned to The Bottom Line for more updates on the budget process.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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