Gov. Andy Beshear briefed Kentucky residents on economic growth, new legislation, COVID-19, Gov. Prayer Breakfast and Easter celebrations at the State Capitol.
New jobs and investments
Last week, Beshear announced 212 new jobs in Kentucky and $ 100 million in private equity investment in the Commonwealth.
“As many of you know, last year we broke every record of economic growth in books and progress continues,” Beshear said. “We continue to see great opportunities with new companies choosing us for the biggest investments in their history and employers already in Kentucky showing confidence that they can do a lot more.”
• F&E Aircraft Maintenance LLC (FEAM AERO), An aircraft maintenance and engineering provider will install a new three-bay hangar at Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky International Airport, creating nearly 250 full-time jobs, including at least $ 124 million in Kentucky, with an investment of $ 40.2 million.
• Bardstown Bourbon Co.’s Expansion of the distillery in Nelson County, a $ 28.7 million investment that will create 29 full-time jobs and increase the company’s annual capacity by approximately 55,000 barrels.
G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers Inc. will invest $ 8.9 million in a new facility in Maysville, creating about 73 jobs, with at least 45 of those jobs available to Kentucky residents.
• Augusta Distillery LLCIts new operation in Bracken County, a $ 23 million investment, will create 14 quality jobs for Kentucky residents.
The Governor signs bills
Along with lawmakers, Beshear signed five bills recently passed by the General Assembly. Bills will become laws from the date of their entry into force.
• Parliamentary bill 564 ensures that the expansion of voting options in Kentucky will continue. Last year, while other states restricted voting, Kentucky expanded it by adding early voting days. This bill requires early, in-person voting to be available for at least eight hours between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday before the election.
“It simply came to our notice then. “With regular hours where people can vote,” said Governor Beshear.
The bill won bipartisan support in the General Assembly, is backed by the State Board of Elections, and continues to work from last session – when Kentucky was one of the few states working to expand access to the vote – to make it easier for residents. of Kentucky to vote. The Governor thanked Secretary of State Michael Adams for being a good, bipartisan partner in these efforts.
Spokesman Josh Branskum said: “The people of Kentucky are very lucky to have safe and secure elections. While there is still work to be done, we have made great strides in ensuring that it is carried out in a safe, secure and honest manner. This is due to the diligence of our electoral executives throughout the Commonwealth.
• Bill 10 of the Senate assists colleges and universities that face barriers to expanding their nursing programs. This bill addresses key issues in the Kentucky Nursing pipeline and aims to eliminate some of the barriers that nurses face when practicing or attempting to practice in Kentucky.
Senator Robby Mills said: “It is important that Kentucky has quality nursing care that meets our future needs. “SB10 is a big step forward in ensuring that our Commonwealth healthcare systems have the nurses to meet the health needs of our citizens now and in the future.”
• Senate Bill 105, or Bella Dawn Streeval Act, will help infants, children, and families by raising awareness and testing for cytomegalovirus (CMV), a virus that can cause childhood deafness and other health challenges. Unfortunately, most CMV infections go undiagnosed without neonatal screening, missing out on opportunities for needed care. Bella Dawn Streeval died two years ago today after CMV.
Bella Dawn’s mother, Sarah Streeval, said: “Two years ago today, I held my baby girl for the last time as she struggled to breathe her last. I held my breath waiting to see if there would be another. My world ended two years ago today, but I did not know that there would be new doors opening. Bella’s law unfortunately does not change anything for our sweet Bella, but her spirit can live in other young children who are affected by this law. “Bella Dawn is really changing the world.”
Senator Max Wise said: “I can not thank the entire Streeval family, as well as all the families from across the Commonwealth, for collectively supporting and enabling this legislation and the signing of the bill in honor of Bella Dawn. Today shows what perseverance, collective effort and compromise can do to enforce the law. Bella’s Law will be able to provide baby screenings and educational information to expectant mothers and families in an effort to raise CMV awareness throughout the community. I would also like to thank the Minister for Health and Family Services, Sarah Roof and KY Hands & Voices, and Deanna Frazier Gordon for their hard work and cooperation. “Although I never got to know Bella personally, her footprint and heritage on this earth will forever remain with this law and I could not be more proud.”
“The struggle came from the families,” said Virginia Moore, executive director of the Kentucky Committee for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. I think we all have that in us. We can make a difference, it happens and it’s so important. “CMV is something that we need to train all doctors and I think with this bill we can do that.”
• Parliamentary bill 494 provides regulatory oversight of the Kentucky student loan lending industry for the first time. Serving student education loans has become a major issue, with billions of dollars in arrears nationwide. About 600,000 Kentucky residents have outstanding federal student loans. This legislation empowers the Ministry of Financial Institutions, or DFI, with the tools to protect consumers here before a failure occurs. According to the provisions of this bill, the DFI will be able to engage in activities without a license and prohibit misleading acts and practices. It also provides for increased penalties for violations involving the military, civil servants and former borrowers.
Deanna Frazier Gordon said: “For many Kentucky residents, college or university can only be obtained by taking out a student loan. However, repaying the loan can be a burden once the person completes their education in Kentucky. There are currently more than $ 19 billion in outstanding student loan debt with over 600,000 Kentucky residents owed student debt. “This bill will allow Kentucky to have the regulatory authority for these loan companies to ensure that they comply with the statute and treat the borrowers fairly.”
• Parliamentary bill 525 codifies an existing program managed by the Medicaid Services Department, which requires Medicaid compensation for certain services provided by certified Community Health Officials (CHW). It also establishes a formal CHW certification program and requires the Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance Program to reimburse for certain services provided by the CHW.
Spokesman Kim Moser said: “Health insurance, whether Medicaid or private coverage, does not always equate to providing preventive or chronic care management, sending people to the emergency room, long hospital stays and even premature death. . “HB 525 will provide a network of community health workers, a navigation system that helps people access health care and improve health outcomes across the state.”
Dr. Steven Stack, Kentucky Public Health Commissioner, said the state-level COVID-19 community map is the best it has ever been, with 114 green / low impact counties, six yellow / medium impact counties and no red counts. counties with a high incidence rate.
Dr. Stack said state leaders will remain vigilant in monitoring the Omicron BA.2 variant, but regardless of any new variant, Kentucky residents know what they need to do to better protect themselves from COVID-19:
• Stay informed on their COVID-19 vaccinations and booster vaccines; and
• Follow the map at community level in the kycovid19.ky.gov and adjust behaviors accordingly.
• The US Food and Drug Administration approved a second booster dose of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for the elderly and some immunocompromised individuals:
Anyone aged 50 and over is eligible for a second Pfizer or Moderna booster four months after their most recent dose. and people 12 years and older for Pfizer and 18 years and older for Moderna, with significant immunosuppressive medical conditions, are also eligible for a second booster four months after their most recent dose. This determination is between a health professional and a patient.
“Everyone should receive your first aid. For the second aid, I recommend that you consult your health professional to help you make your decision “, said Dr. Stack.
There is now only one approved monoclonal antibody in most of the country – bebtelovimab. The state currently has enough to meet demand in Kentucky.
Two oral antiviral drugs, molnupiravir and paxlovid, are now available at many Walgreens, CVS, Walmart and Kroger pharmacies. Doctors, nurses or medical assistants can prescribe them to suitable patients.