Editorial Roundup: Kentucky

Bowling Green Daily News. September 16, 2023.

Editorial: Milestone marks transformative chapter for region

A tangible piece of southcentral Kentucky’s future was the star attraction Thursday at the Kentucky Transpark.

Gov. Andy Beshear and a hefty roster of state and local officials took part in a ceremony where the final beam of the Envision AESC plant’s steel skeleton was put in place.

The $2 billion electric-vehicle battery plant on 512 acres will employ 2,000 in high-paying, mostly high-tech jobs.

The project will be transformative for the region, making southcentral Kentucky a leader in the growing electric-vehicle battery sector.

“AESC was ahead of the curve in seeing what so many companies across the globe now realize: that Kentucky is the best place to do business – with the best workforce, the best crews to build the biggest facilities the world has ever seen,” Beshear said.

AESC CEO Shoichi Matsumoto said it was a landmark day for the future of both his company and the state.

“Kentucky has a rich history, and together we are taking that history to new innovations,” Matsumoto said. “From bourbon to batteries; from bluegrass to green energy.”

Warren County Judge-Executive Doug Gorman said the new jobs will provide “generational change” for countless local families as new employers continue to flock to the region.

The 1.6 million-square-foot plant should start cranking out lithium-ion batteries by the end of 2025 and be fully operational by 2027.

At that time, it is projected to be cranking out up to 300,000 vehicle batteries annually.

“We believe that this gigafactory will support the local economy, offering versatile, sustainable job opportunities in a rapidly expanding sector for years to come,” Matsumoto said at the Thursday ceremony.

There is no reason to doubt that assessment, which is why the milestone achieved last week is a cause for celebration.


Frankort State Journal. September 15, 2023.

Editorial: Resources available for problem, addicted gamblers

With Gov. Andy Beshear placing a $20 wager that the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville will win more football games than experts predict and that Duke University would win less than oddsmakers believe, sports betting became legal at certain facilities in the Bluegrass State with mobile betting to follow later this month.

Speaking afterward, the governor stressed that sports betting is entertainment and will help boost tourism.

“It’s going to make sure we don’t lose that many people to Vegas in the first couple rounds in the NCAA tournament,” Beshear stated.

Legal sports wagering is projected to annually generate approximately $23 million and perhaps more, per some estimates, for the state. The majority of the revenue will be allocated to Kentucky’s public pension system.

However, only a small percentage of the tax revenue and licensing fees — 2.5% — will go into an account to help combat problem gambling. That fund is expected to receive roughly $575,000 in the first year.

Critics, including Kentucky Council on Problem Gambling (KYCPG) Executive Director Michael R. Stone, think that is a decent start, but “we’ve only got five certified gambling counselors in the state right now, and we’re going to need probably five times that many to provide adequate geographic and demographic coverage.”

According to KYCPG research, as many as 64,000 Kentuckians already have a gambling addiction and upward of 165,000 have problem gambling traits.

While we are glad that a provision was added to sports betting legislation that allocates funding for those with problem and addictive gambling issues, we also believe it is equally important to provide resources and information for those in need of help.

If you or someone you know needs assistance, KYCPG offers a 24/7 hotline — 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) — that individuals can call or text to contact a trained counselor who can confidentially provide referrals to Gamblers Anonymous or behavioral health counseling. To find warning signs of problem gambling and to take a self-test, visit www.kygamblinghelp.org The site also offers tips for responsible gambling.