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Kentucky Governor Says COVID Relief Bill Would Also Fund Big Infrastructure Investments

Martin County relies on a water treatment plant that was built in 1968.
Ohio Valley ReSource
Martin County relies on a water treatment plant that was built in 1968.

The newest version of the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, dubbed the American Rescue Plan, is nearing final approval by the House before going to President Joe Biden. During his regular COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said the state would receive $2.6 billion which would allow for a “once in a generation investment in infrastructure.” 

Beshear pointed to potential investments in broadband, water and sewer infrastructure and repairs and upgrades in areas that have been hit by flooding.

“When you look at those areas that experienced significant flooding, a lot of them have water and sewer projects that need to be done. The capacity was exceeded in a number of these towns,” Beshear said. “And we'd have a chance if we spend this right to help those areas be more resilient to these types of flash floods or other disasters in the future.”

Beshear said his office will share a plan with the Kentucky Legislature soon. 

For several weeks, new COVID-19 cases have continued to decrease. After reporting 880 new cases on Tuesday, Beshear said that’s the lowest Tuesday report the state has seen since mid-September. The state’s rate of test positivity is just under 4%.

About a quarter of the state’s population — 804,532 people —  have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine.  

Kentucky’s hospitalization numbers continue to decline. On Tuesday 551 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 and 147 were in intensive care.

Jeff Young is managing editor of the Ohio Valley ReSource, a journalism collaboration led by Louisville Public Media.

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