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Gov. Beshear Provides Team Kentucky Update

Bill Stephens

June 2nd, 2022

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Governor stops state’s gas tax hike to provide relief for Kentucky families

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 2, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear updated Kentuckians on gas tax relief, economic development, funds for tornado recovery and road improvements. He also recognized Kentucky’s Class of 2022 as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars.

Gov. Beshear Stops State Gas Tax Hike, Providing Relief to Kentuckians at the Pump
Today, Gov. Beshear’s administration filed an emergency regulation to freeze the state gas tax and to prevent a 2-cent increase per gallon that would have taken effect July 1.

“Kentuckians cannot afford to pay more, and I am committed to doing everything I can to help keep more dollars in people’s pockets,” said Gov. Beshear. “This law was never intended to hurt Kentuckians during tough times, but with rising prices and inflation, this increase would have a negative impact on our families and it is time to take action.”

The state gas tax is set by statute, both in its rate and how it is calculated. The current rate of 26 cents was set to increase under a trigger, resulting in a price hike on both regular and diesel fuel. The Governor has looked for ways to relieve the financial burden on Kentuckians and asked the Department of Revenue to file this emergency regulation.

The funds collected through the state gas tax contribute to the Road Fund, which year to date is up 2.3%. Over the first seven months of the fiscal year, this action will reduce the budgeted Road Fund revenues by 1.6%. To make up for the lost road fund revenues, Gov. Beshear will propose using funds from the upcoming General Fund budget surplus. The budget for next year also includes a 21% increase in transportation infrastructure dollars from the federal government.

“This action to provide relief to Kentuckians will have no material impact on the transportation budget and projects,” Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray said. “All projects will move forward.”

To learn more, see the full release.

Gov. Beshear to Join Fruehauf North America, Local Officials for Grand Opening of $15 Million, 290-Job Facility in Bowling Green
Today, Gov. Beshear will join leaders from Fruehauf North America for the grand opening of the company’s new $15 million, 290-job operation in Bowling Green, signifying the semi-trailer manufacturer’s return to production in the United States.

“I always love to see a new company locate in the commonwealth, but it speaks to our many advantages when a company decides to locate its first U.S. operation in 25 years in the commonwealth,” Gov. Beshear said. “Fruehauf is a welcome addition to Kentucky and the Bowling Green area, and this is the start of what I know will be an excellent partnership for years to come.”

Gov. Beshear Announces More than $1 Million in Additional SAFE Funds for Tornado Recovery
Gov. Beshear announced a fifth round of awards from the West Kentucky State Aid Funding for Emergencies (SAFE) fund. The more than $1 million in assistance announced today will go to two eligible Western Kentucky counties and one city to help with the costs of restoration and recovery from the devastating December 2021 tornadoes.

“Nearly six months have passed since tornadoes struck Western Kentucky. And while our people are resilient and our communities are rebuilding, there is more work to be done,” Gov. Beshear said. “The funds awarded this week will help cover expenses and services that are not eligible for FEMA aid and will help relieve some of the financial strain these communities continue to face during this time of recovery.”

The more than $1 million announced today will accommodate the 5.2% local share for FEMA-eligible expenses for Taylor and Hopkins counties and support the purchase of heavy equipment in Hopkins County to facilitate debris removal. Bowling Green will receive the majority of today’s funding, which will reimburse the city for its upfront payments to cover utility reconnection charges for its citizens, as well as the cost for the removal of trees and stumps from private properties and the replanting of trees lost to the storm.

Today’s funding awards include:

  • $970,000 to the City of Bowling Green;
  • $58,500 to the Hopkins County Fiscal Court; and
  • $10,400 to Taylor County.

Since early May, Gov. Beshear has announced awards of more than $20 million in SAFE funding to eligible Western Kentucky cities, counties and other entities.

Gov. Beshear recommended the appropriation for the SAFE fund, and the 2022 General Assembly supported the aid by passing Senate Bill 150, which the Governor signed into law in April. The Kentucky Division of Emergency Management continues to receive additional applications for SAFE funding, which are being carefully reviewed to ensure the funds are used to their maximum benefit.

Gov. Beshear Announces $2.8 Million in Transportation Funding to Local Governments for Street and Road Improvements
Today, Gov. Beshear announced more than $2.8 million in discretionary transportation funding to give travelers a smoother, safer drive and support economic development in communities.

The funding from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) will support 27 projects that include resurfacing at least 28 miles of local roadways and improving connections to existing and emerging business sites.

“For many Kentuckians, the most important mile they travel is from home to work, school or places of worship,” Gov. Beshear said. “Each dollar will support much-needed repairs and economy-boosting infrastructure upgrades to improve the lives of Kentuckians.”

To learn more, see the full release.

Team Kentucky All-Stars
Gov. Beshear congratulated Kentucky’s Class of 2022 and recognized them as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars, because of their resilience and compassion over the past two years during a global pandemic, ice storms, flooding, the deadliest tornadoes in state history and other challenges.

Gov. Beshear said, “You found ways to stick together, even when you had to stay physically apart. So, as you earn your degrees and diplomas, we want to make the celebration for you extra special.”

This year’s high school and college graduates will enter a record-breaking economy in the commonwealth: This year alone, Gov. Beshear has announced more than $3.9 billion in new investments, generating more than 6,700 jobs for Kentuckians.

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