Gov. Beshear Provides Team Kentucky Update

Public Safety and State, Local Government Budget Priorities

Gov. Andy Beshear provided his Team Kentucky update, during which he signed legislation to support Western Kentucky tornado relief and provided a final preview of the commonwealth’s game-changing investment opportunities

Public Safety and State, Local Government Budget Priorities Today, the Governor discussed his final budget priorities, including endorsing a historic 6% pay increase for state employees. Kentucky State Police troopers, sworn officers and telecommunicators, will also receive a raise. The Governor’s budget also funds body cameras for state police for the first time ever. The Governor is also supporting the state prosecutor network to help enhance victim services, including the implementation of Marsy’s Law, as well as address case backlogs and additional workload due to recent legislative changes.

The Governor is funding efforts to retain correctional officers, juvenile justice youth workers and social workers.

The Governor’s budget adds 350 social workers to help address staffing shortages and reduce the average caseload by nearly 25%. To attract and retain more social workers, the Governor is funding a loan forgiveness program to provide a maximum $3,000 a year for each year of employment as a social service worker with the Department for Community Based Services.

The Governor’s budget restores the Commission on Women, restores funding to the Commission on Human Rights and reinstates the Office of Minority Empowerment. The Governor is also returning 100% of coal severance funds to coal counties and creating a $100 million Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.

“This is a budget built on the values we as Kentuckians live by. Now is the time to invest in our people,” said Gov. Beshear. “Whether it’s public safety, our state employees, education or our economic future, my budget makes the bold investments we need to move our commonwealth forward.”

To learn more about the Governor’s budget priorities, including a $2 billion investment in pre-K–12 education; creating and attracting the jobs of the future, while readying our workforce; and expanding Kentuckians’ health care and supporting the most vulnerable, see this week’s press releases.

COVID-19 Case Information, Vaccinations Update Number of people who have received at least one vaccine dose in Kentucky: 2,813,659 Number of people who have received a booster vaccination in Kentucky: 936,060

The Governor said 63% of all Kentuckians have received at least their first dose, as well as 67% of Kentuckians ages 5 and older and 74% of all Kentucky adults.

Novelis to Expand, Create 140 Additional Kentucky Jobs Kentucky is rolling the economic momentum of 2021 into the new year, as this week Gov. Beshear announced aluminum producer and recycler Novelis will move forward with a Phase 2 expansion. In October, the company opened an operation in Todd County with a roughly $365 million investment to construct a new recycling center that will create 140 well-paying jobs for local residents. To learn more, see the full release.

Kentucky State Police Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Investigative Team Expands Earlier today, Gov. Beshear and Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Kerry Harvey announced that an additional $849,491 in grant funding from the federal government to expand the Kentucky State Police Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Investigative Team. The funds will help hire an additional investigator to focus their efforts on the Louisville-Jefferson County region. To learn more, see the full release.

Gov. Beshear, Miss USA Encourage Blood Donations Amid Critical Shortage The Governor said the state and nation are experiencing the worst blood shortage in over a decade. The dangerously low blood supply levels have forced some hospitals to defer patients from major surgery, including organ transplants.

In December, the Governor gave blood in the Capitol Rotunda along with Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman and other state leaders. Today, he thanked another Kentuckian who are bringing attention to this issue: Miss USA and a former Team Kentucky All-Star, Elle Smith, who gave blood and encouraged donations last week.

“We desperately need more folks to sign up and donate. You could save a life,” said Gov. Beshear. “Elle, thanks for stepping up again to serve your community.”

Sign up now at RedCrossBlood.org.

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