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Gov. Beshear signs tornado relief legislation, releases more highlights for budget proposal

“This is a budget built on the values we as Kentuckians live by. Now is the time to invest in our people,” said Beshear.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear released more information about his budget and signed tornado relief legislation during Thursday's Team Kentucky update.

Beshear signed House Bill 5 and Senate Bill 5 as companion bills to provide $200 million in general relief. They were merged in "a rare parliamentary procedure," according to a Senate Majority Caucus press release.

$45 million of that will immediately go towards transportation needs for schools, and purchasing RV's for displaced families.

Senate Majority Whip, Mike Wilson (R-Bowling Green) said this was a different storm. 

“You always think we dodged a bullet through the years and you think we’re going to do it again, but then the reports of all the destruction begin to come out. I have to give thanks to everyone who jumped into action and rallied around western Kentucky," Wilson said.

Beshear said his final budget priorities include:

  • A 6% pay increase for state employees.
  • Efforts to retain workers such as "correctional officers, juvenile justice youth workers and social workers."
  • A loan forgiveness program for social workers in the Department for Community Based Services.
  • It restores the Commission on Women, the Commission on Human Rights and reinstates the Office of Minority Empowerment.

“This is a budget built on the values we as Kentuckians live by. Now is the time to invest in our people,” said 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.”

The governor's official budget address is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday.

Watch the full Team Kentucky Update here:

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