Home » Gov. Beshear signs legislation supporting workforce development

Gov. Beshear signs legislation supporting workforce development

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear joined lawmakers to sign five pieces of legislation that support workforce development and the state’s booming economy.

“For the first time in my lifetime, some of the biggest, most advanced companies are picking us for the biggest investments they’ve ever made. Our small businesses are also thriving and growing,” Gov. Beshear said. “Today, we’re doing even more to support our workforce by signing bills to build on our progress.”

Senate Bill 57Gov. Beshear signed Senate Bill 57, which allows military spouses licensed cosmetologists in another state to work here in Kentucky easily. This bill assists service members and their spouses when they must move to serve our country best, and it is priority legislation for the U.S. Department of Defense.

The Governor said the bill builds on legislation he signed last year that made it easier for military spouses to obtain other occupational licenses, and it complements the work his administration is doing to make Kentucky the most military-friendly state.

House Bill 200The Governor signed House Bill 200, which continues the administration’s work to address the nursing shortage. HB 200 supports these efforts by creating an innovative public-private partnership program to support scholarships and improve and grow high-need healthcare programs.

The bill creates the Healthcare Workforce Investment Fund. The fund enables the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE), healthcare programs and healthcare providers and facilities to match public and private dollars to award scholarships to eligible students and healthcare incentives to eligible healthcare programs.

House Bill 320The Governor signed House Bill 320, sponsored by Rep. Chris Freeland of Benton, which makes it easier for Kentucky to attract more drivers to our trucking industry. It allows an applicant with a nonresident operator’s license and a commercial driver’s instruction permit to take the CDL skills test in Kentucky.

Senate Bill 54The Governor signed Senate Bill 54, sponsored by Sen. Jared Carpenter of Berea, which opens Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) eligibility to students attending proprietary schools not eligible to participate in the Federal Pell Grant program.

The scholarship currently helps high school graduates participating in an approved registered apprenticeship or qualified workforce training program request reimbursement of approved expenses from their KEES earnings instead of sending the funds to an eligible Kentucky college or university.

Under this bill, students must be enrolled in programs deemed in high demand by the Workforce Innovation Board. Examples of these programs could include nursing and welding programs. The bill also clarifies that students are eligible to earn KEES dollars if they attend accredited out-of-state high schools or Department of Defense schools as a result of the parent’s or guardian’s military transfer outside of Kentucky, and the student earned a KEES base amount at a Kentucky high school prior the military transfer outside of Kentucky.

House Bill 32Gov. Beshear signed House Bill 32, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Jackson of Bowling Green, which provides more opportunities for our school districts to hire school workers and then helps them obtain the High School Equivalency Diploma at no cost to the employee.

Other measures Gov. Beshear has taken to support the state’s workforce include working to remove barriers that keep Kentuckians out of the workforce.

The administration has focused on removing health roadblocks for many Kentuckians in accessing dental, vision and hearing care.

To make childcare more accessible to Kentuckians, the Governor has asked the General Assembly to fund universal pre-K, which has proven to be the fastest way to help more parents – especially moms – get back to work. It is also the best way to ensure every Kentucky child is kindergarten ready.

This past November, the Governor announced new programs to transition people from incarceration to employment. The administration has also launched programs to help employers guide their workers to addiction services when in need, to establish Recovery Ready Communities and to create pathways to help more people struggling with addiction.

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