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Lawmaker: BEAM Should Include Northern Kentucky Region

From Dan Conti, Kentucky Public RadioA state representative from Covington says he's disappointed that Northern Kentucky wasn't included in the development of the new Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement (BEAM). Democrat Arnold Simpson thinks BEAM should have been larger and encompassed some counties from his region. Lexington Mayor Jim Gray says the Brookings Institution created the template for BEAM and considers Northern Kentucky to be tied more closely to Cincinnati's economy. However, Simpson says that means the two areas are jousting each other for jobs. "I would hate to see a device put in to being where northern Kentucky would be competing with Lexington and Louisville. It shouldn’t be like that. I see our commonalities even though our geographic location lends itself to a recognition of being part of the Cincinnati economy. We’re Kentuckians," Arnold told a state legislative panel. Simpson says Covington recently lost a pharmacy services company, Omnicare, and its 500 jobs to Cincinnati after Ohio offered the firm $6 million in tax breaks.