Gov. Andy Beshear joined state lawmakers in the Capitol Rotunda to sign a nearly $212.7 million relief package that will provide critical help over the next six months to Eastern Kentucky communities devastated by the deadly flooding that began July 26.
The Governor called a special session earlier this week after working with legislative leaders on the relief needed to help Eastern Kentucky.
“Today, we stand here together in our Capitol Rotunda – and we stand united,” Gov. Beshear said. “We stand united in our love and compassion for those who have lost loved ones in the flood. And we stand united in our purpose to help the people of Eastern Kentucky rebuild their lives and their communities.”
Senate President Robert Stivers, House Speaker David Osborne and House Mountain Caucus Chair John Blanton shared their support for the legislation.
“Each day since the floodwaters began rising in Eastern Kentucky, we have made every effort to maximize available federal dollars while allocating these available state funds,” President Stivers said. “The sequence of our actions and the commitment we’ve demonstrated today will have a long-lasting impact on Eastern Kentucky’s future. The passage of this bill and the actions we’ll take in future sessions demonstrate our thoughtful plan to rebuild our communities.”
“I am hopeful that the people of Eastern Kentucky see today as a reminder that their elected officials hear them and see the devastation this flooding has caused,” Speaker Osborne said. “The legislators in impacted areas worked tirelessly to pass a plan that includes funding to support the region’s rebuilding efforts. As we have with similar efforts in Western Kentucky, we remain committed to working with state and local leaders as well as other stakeholders as the rebuilding process continues and needs evolve.”
“We’ve been through a devastating time over the past four weeks,” Rep. Blanton said. “We are a strong, proud, resilient people and we will get through this. But we need a little help along the way and this is that help. I can’t say thank you enough to the Governor, Rocky and the entire executive branch and to leadership in the Senate and the House. To steal a phrase from the Governor, this is not a bipartisan bill, it’s a nonpartisan bill. But I’m going to add one to that: This is a Kentucky bill. This is Kentuckians coming together to help Kentuckians.”
He added, “This is step one. Right now, we still have people in tents and we still have people in shelters. This bill provides funding for intermediate housing to get them into something with a roof and with heat before the cold weather months. I want to ensure people that we are prepared to make further purchases to get every single family and individual into housing.”
The nearly $212.7 million Eastern Kentucky relief plan is much like the aid provided to help Western Kentucky rebuild following last December’s tornadoes. To read more about the bill’s details, click here, or to read the bill, click here.
Kentucky lost at least 39 Kentuckians, and thousands of families lost everything due to the flooding. To learn more about the recovery efforts, visit the Governor’s disaster relief resources website and click here to donate to Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund.