FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Gov. Andy Beshear revealed plans Wednesday night to provide an assistance package for Kentucky communities devastated by recent tornadoes, vowing to “rebuild every structure and every life.”
The Democratic governor, delivering his annual State of the Commonwealth address, stressed the need for a bipartisan response to the storms that leveled parts of western Kentucky last month, killing 77 people in the state. Beshear, who has often feuded with the Republican-dominated legislature during his term, said he’s working with lawmakers on fast-track legislation to help the communities recover.
“I want every family and community touched by these storms to know that I am with you, the General Assembly is with you, the commonwealth of Kentucky is with you — today, tomorrow, however long it takes,” Beshear said. “We will rebuild every structure and every life.”
The governor trumpeted the state’s record-setting pace for economic growth in 2021, and offered hints about budget priorities he will propose in the spending plan he submits to lawmakers next week.
He also focused on the state’s ongoing struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit the Bluegrass State with another record surge of cases.
And he outlined plans to rebuild communities devastated by the tornadoes.
The pending legislation will direct $150 million to help storm-stricken communities rebuild and another $50 million to help the region’s schools recover, the governor said.
“It shows that we -- Democrats and Republicans, House and Senate, executive and legislative branches -- will stand with these families,” he said.