(WYMT) - Gov. Andy Beshear visited four Eastern Kentucky communities to present grants on Friday.
Along with presenting the grants, the governor spoke about supporting legislation to help miners and issues with education and healthcare.
“I believe our people and our communities come first. Helping our Kentucky families improve their wages, access and afford health care, receive a high-quality education and protect their retirement while setting a positive and helpful tone in Frankfort is critically important to my administration," said Gov. Beshear.
The governor visited Pikeville Medical Center along with Rep. Angie Hatton of Whitesburg. Both the governor and Hatton called for the passage of House Bill 239, which would allow qualified physicians to perform exams for potential black lung patients.
Under the current laws, only a board-certified pulmonary specialist can perform exams. The state only has four certified pulmonologists.
“Black lung is a tough disease, and while our miners are tougher, we owe it to them and their families to make it easier for them to get the care they need and deserve,” said Gov. Beshear.
The governor awarded a $50,000 Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant to the Lawrence County Fiscal Court. This grant will allow for the addition of an accessible playground and splash park at the Lawrence County Park.
The Elliott County Fiscal Court will receive a $45,000 Land and Water Conservation Fund grant to make improvements to Addison Field. The county will construct a building with restrooms, changing facility and concessions and equipment storage.
Governor Beshear presented two grants from the Kentucky Department of Aviation in conjunction with FAA funding to improve the safety at the Clyde A. Thomas Regional Airport in Morehead. The two grants will be used for runway pavement reconstruction and to replace runway and taxiway lighting systems.
“The combined $2.4 million state investment will elevate the safety of the airport by correcting runway issues and replacing critical lighting systems for safer landings and takeoffs,” said Gov. Beshear.
Beshear and Commissioner Keene announced a $250,000 RTP grant for improvements to the Triplett Valley Trail in the Memorial Tree Walk Park. The city will resurface the trail to make it passable for wheelchairs and strollers. The city will also build a bridge connecting the park to Morehead State University and local businesses.
Since taking office, the governor has awarded $6.6 million in grants to 11 communities across the Commonwealth.