Kentucky Lawmakers Plan to Move Quickly on Tornado Recovery Package

Kentucky lawmakers, back in session, are planning to take up tornado-recovery legislation this week, with the goal of quickly distributing an initial round of assistance, House Speaker David Osborne said.

The newly introduced legislation proposes $200 million of aid in response to the storms that devastated several Kentucky communities last month, killing 77 people. A New Year’s Day tornado outbreak also caused damage in several Kentucky counties.

The House Appropriations and Revenue Committee was set to review the assistance package Monday, Osborne said. Storm-relief legislation also was introduced in the Senate.

The plan is to quickly pump an initial $45 million into stricken communities, with $15 million for temporary housing and $30 million for schools, the speaker said. More rounds of the aid will be released later to help meet other recovery needs, he said.

In his recent State of the Commonwealth speech, Gov. Andy Beshear vowed to “rebuild every structure and every life” in outlining his work with lawmakers to deliver the assistance.

The relief package was put in a separate bill to accelerate legislative action, Osborne said Saturday.

“In our discussions with the governor and the administration, there have been a number of things that they wanted to do certainly more quickly than we can get a budget passed,” the speaker said.