|Rep. Rogers, left, and Gov. Beshear at|
Pikeville meeting (Herald-Leader photo)
"The budget language does not specify Eastern Kentucky," Estep writes, "but it appears the region will be first in line for the money. Eastern Kentucky is home to the highest concentration of distressed counties in the multi-state ARC, and has lost a greater percentage of its coal jobs than any region of the country the last two years."
Rogers, a Republican, delivered the broadband money in the same week that Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear said he would include four-laning of the Mountain Parkway in Eastern Kentucky in the road plan he would submit to the legislature. Beshear talked about his hope to do that, and Rogers talked about broadband, at a huge gathering to solicit ideas for Shaping Our Appalachian Region, an initiative they started. The Rural Policy Research Institute sifted through those ideas and issued a report Friday calling for "a new guiding organization to organize the work." Beshear and Rogers said they would get to work on that soon. (Read more)