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Release From The Office of Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear
Throughout his administration, Gov. Steve Beshear has worked with local communities, like Edmonson County, to increase job creation, raise education standards and support healthy, vibrant families to strengthen the quality of life across the Commonwealth.
In Edmonson County, he has made lasting investments that will benefit generations to come, including over $75 million in transportation projects, and nearly $1.37 million in state and federal investments in community development.
“When I took office as Governor in 2007, Kentuckians had lost faith in their government and a global recession was taking away jobs, homes and health care,” Gov. Beshear said. “Today, thanks to our partnership with a lot of people, including the citizens and officials of Edmonson County, Kentucky’s economy is setting records, and our families are again getting high return on the money and trust they invest in their leaders.”
Kentucky’s unemployment rate is at 5 percent, down from nearly 11 percent during the depths of the recession. Kentucky’s jobless rate has not been this low in more than 14 years. In Edmonson County, the unemployment rate stands at 5.4 percent.
“Through our ongoing partnership with local officials in Edmonson County, we have been able to make numerous critical investments to improve the quality of life in this community,” Gov. Beshear said.
The Governor’s investments in Edmonson County include:
Transportation: Gov. Beshear has partnered with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to authorize over $75 million since Dec. 10, 2007 for activities in Edmonson County including road construction, highway safety initiatives, resurfacing and other transportation projects. Major projects include:
Economic Development: Edmonson County has played a role in growing Kentucky’s economy. Since January 2008, the county announced three new and expansion projects, which are projected to create 33 jobs and $3.34 million in new investment.
Community Development: Gov. Beshear has partnered with the Department for Local Government to authorize nearly $1.37 million in state and federal investments since January 2008 for activities in Edmonson County.
Health care coverage: By implementing Kentucky’s own health benefit exchange, called kynect, Gov. Beshear is providing access to comprehensive, quality, affordable health care coverage to more Kentuckians, including Edmonson County residents.
· In Edmonson County, prior to Medicaid expansion, the uninsured rate was 19.6 percent; now it’s 3.8 percent, an 80.5 percent reduction. Besides consumers, Kentucky’s medical providers, such as hospitals, pharmacies, and primary care physicians have had the most noticeable, immediate positive impact of Medicaid expansion through the influx of new dollars.
· Since 2014, new Medicaid expansion payments to Edmonson County providers totaled more than $1.59 million.
· Edmonson County is participating in the Smiling Schools program that gives local elementary students a protective tooth varnish treatment during the current school year.
Tourism: The economic impact from tourism in Kentucky has increased by more than $2.2 billion and 13,000 jobs statewide over the last five years. The Edmonson County area is also seeing an increase in tourism. Edmonson County’s 2014 tourism economic impact was $5.7 million, a 4.3 percent increase from the previous year. The county’s 2014 tourism employment was the equivalent of 1,706 jobs.
Agricultural Development: The Kentucky Agricultural Development Board, chaired by Gov. Beshear, has invested $752,759 in Edmonson County over the last eight years in an array of projects and on-farm improvement programs focused on creating markets for agricultural products and helping increase net farm income.
Education: In order to ensure Kentucky’s children get a strong start in school and in life, Gov. Beshear – in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood – has awarded Edmonson County’s Community Early Childhood Council $34,880 to promote school readiness for children.
Safety: Through the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security, Gov. Beshear has helped strengthen public safety in Edmonson County. Edmonson County has received over $138,000 in funding through the State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHGP) and/or the Law Enforcement Protection Program (LEPP). The SHGP funds a variety of devices including communication, first responder, physical and cyber security equipment. LEPP funds body armor, Tasers and duty weapons.
“Over the last eight years, I’ve worked under the guiding principle that government should work for its people,” Gov. Beshear said. “Jane and I have been honored to be a part of Kentucky’s growth the last eight years, and we look forward to seeing Kentucky progress for generations to come. Thank you for allowing me to serve as your Governor.”