Better Kentucky Plan

Governor Andy Beshear’s Better Kentucky Plan aims to help the commonwealth lead in the post-COVID economy. Through the passage of bills in the 2021 and 2022 legislative sessions, federal funds were allocated to boost the state's economy by building new schools, delivering clean drinking water and expanding access to broadband. And through the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – also known as the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act – the Governor is working to build stronger communities in every corner of the commonwealth, improve our roads and bridges and expand our electric vehicle infrastructure.
 

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Better Schools

The School Facilities Construction Commission is forging ahead with the distribution of more than $200 million for the construction of schools and educational facility upgrades. 

These projects could generate as many as 1,000 jobs.

  • $127 million in Federal Funds are being allocated to local school district construction projects.
  • $75 million in General Fund dollars will go to build or upgrade vocational school facilities.


Cleaner Water

Team Kentucky is investing in water or sewer-related projects statewide that will improve the quality of life for Kentuckians while boosting the Commonwealth's infrastructure. Administered by the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority, $500 million has been appropriated for water and wastewater grants since 2021. 

In 2022, $250 million was appropriated to be allocated to projects within a county based on county population. The Call for Projects, or the application process, will begin in July.

This is in addition to the $250 million appropriated in 2021 for the following uses:

  • $150 mi­­llion
    •  Allocated to projects within a county based on county population
  • $50 million
    • Available for customers in rural areas without clean drinking water services
    • Available for utilities under federal consent decree to address stormwater and sanitary sewer system concerns (Lexington, Louisville, Northern KY Sanitation District No. 1, Winchester)
  • $49.9 million
    • $24.9 million to supplement a project grant where the project cost is greater than the county's allocation
    • $25 million for bids higher than estimated project cost

There are 713 public drinking water and wastewater utilities in Kentucky. Once projects are selected this fall, all funds must be obligated by December 31, 2024.

It is estimated that delivering clean drinking water to Kentuckians will create at least 3,800 jobs.

How to​​ A​pply

The Call for Projects ​for the 2022 appropriation will begin in July of 2022 (date to be announced). Public drinking water and wastewater utilities will coordinate with the Water Resource Coordinator representing Kentucky's 15 Area Development Districts (ADDs) and Area Water Management Councils.

The ADD Water Service Coordinator will create a new Project Profile or update an existing Project Profile through the Water Resource Information System (WRIS) online portal. When the call for projects is open, they will select “22HB001 Cleaner Water Program (FY 2023)" as the funding source under the budget tab to indicate interest in funding through the grant.​

Click here to visit the WRIS Portal. 

Frequently Asked Questi​​ons


Better Internet

The COVID-19 pandemic accentuated the need for all Kentucky citizens to have high-speed, reliable internet access to stay informed and connected to school, work, family, church, health care and other critical services. As more jobs transitioned to telework and classrooms moved to online learning, households across Kentucky increasingly relied on technology dependent on enhanced internet capacity to not only download data, but also to upload and share information, particularly when two or more platforms were simultaneously ​​online.

​​U​​nder House Bill 320 and House Bill 382, a bipartisan agreement enacted by the 2021 General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Beshear, Kentucky's Broadband Deployment Fund includes $300 million in state funds earmarked to address the connectivity needs of unserved and underserved communities across the commonwealth. Combined with at least 50% required matching federal investments, a minimum of $600 million will support the expansion of high-speed internet in Kentucky, creating more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs. Coupled with the recent broadband speed test, access mapping and the KentuckyWired project, the commonwealth has the potential to move to the forefront of high-speed internet expansion nationwide.

To meet the most immediate need of those currently unserved populations across the state, the Kentucky Broadband Deployment Fund will prioritize the applications of projects that include areas without current access to high-speed internet or those providing 10 Mbps or less download speeds.

Also included in the 2022-2024 Biennial Budget is funding to establish an Office for Broadband Development, as authorized by​​ House Bill 315​. This office will provide grants for broadband deployment, strategic direction and planning for high-speed internet accessibility, service, and growth on behalf of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and will serve as the liaison to federal agencies and programs regarding broadband issues.

Actions by the Gen​eral Assembly changed the federal funding source from the 2021 Regular Session’s $300 million appropriation by shifting $182,769,000 for broadband deployment to the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund from the prior allocation from the State Fiscal Recovery Fund of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Federal funds of $20 million from the American Rescue Plan will also be used to provide reimbursement for eligible pole replacement costs related to the deployment of high-speed internet infrastructure in unserved areas. These are defined as areas where high-speed internet service with a minimum 25 Mbps per second downstream and three megabits per second upstream is unavailable.


Stronger Communities

“Part of Governor Andy Beshear’s Better Kentucky Plan is to use the $6.5 billion allocated through the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) – also known as the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act – to build stronger communities in every corner of the commonwealth. These federal dollars offer unprecedented opportunities to communities, businesses and local governments to make improvements in areas of energy efficiency, forestry, renewable energy, waste management and water. It will let Kentucky make significant progress in reclaiming abandoned mine lands, redeveloping brownfields and capping orphaned oil and gas wells.” 

—​Energy & Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman


Better Transportation

Governor Beshear is seizing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make transformational improvements in Kentucky’s transportation infrastructure. The Governor’s 2022-2028 Kentucky Highway Plan puts a priority on repairing and preserving pavement and bridges, meaning greater safety, efficiency, equitability and resilience for all users – drivers, cyclists, transit riders and pedestrians. The plan is based on anticipated state and federal revenues of $8.5 billion through 2028. The plan also positions Kentucky to compete for federal funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to advance projects that are critical to Kentucky’s continued economic growth but have long been delayed because of their cost. The BIL goes beyond highways and bridges with funding to modernize all other modes of transportation – air, rail, riverports and public transportation.

 


Greener Drive

Electric vehicles (EVs) are the way of the future, and Kentucky is at the center of the revolution. Kentucky is developing an Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment Plan (EVIDP) - a critical next step to expand Kentucky’s network of reliable Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFCs) and Level 2 chargers on highways throughout the Commonwealth to support local and long-distance EV travel.

Kentucky is slated to receive $69.4 million through 2027 for EV charging infrastructure, with $10.3 million in fiscal year 2022 and $10-15 million in each of the four following years. Governor Andy Beshear secured a $17.5 million General Fund investment to boost Kentucky’s EV funding.

Frequently Ask​​ed Questions

 

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