Governor Steve Beshear today signed into law two bills designed to help Kentucky's steel industry. House Bill 539 encourages expansion and modernization in the industry, and House Bill 509 allows for increased steel transportation.
The Governor signed the measures at AK Steel in Ashland.
"Both of these pieces of legislation will provide an essential boost to the steel industry here in the Commonwealth," said Gov. Beshear. "This is crucial to growing and expanding an industry that is so vital to our economy."
Kentucky is home to more than 175 steel-related facilities that employ more than 12,000 full-time employees.
Co-sponsored by Reps. Rocky Adkins, of Sandy Hook, Tanya Pullin, of South Shore, and Kevin Sinnette, of Ashland, HB 539 amends the Kentucky Industrial Revitalization Act (KIRA) by allowing existing steel companies that obtained approval for incentives under the Act in years past to receive additional incentives if they supplement their existing KIRA projects with new investment and additional improvements.
"I am pleased to have been a sponsor of HB 539," said Rep. Pullin. "AK Steel is an important industrial employer in our community and plays a key role in Kentucky's economic health. HB 539 provides incentives for industries, such as AK Steel, to continue to modernize and continue to create jobs for another decade. I am grateful to Gov. Beshear for recognizing the bill's importance and visiting AK Steel today to ceremonially sign HB 539."
Gov. Beshear also signed HB 509 that increases the distance at which steel and steel products can be transported on an overweight-vehicle permit.
"One of my priorities as Governor is to assist and promote Kentucky manufacturers, all of whom play a vital role in the Kentucky economy," Gov. Beshear said. "Timely delivery of supplies and products is all-important in manufacturing. This legislation will better enable some of our leading manufacturers to quickly and efficiently get their products to their customers."
HB 509, co-sponsored by Reps. Sinnette, Hubert Collins, of Wittensville and Fitz Steele, of Hazard, permits transporters of steel and steel products to travel up to 150 miles on an overweight permit. The current limit is 35 miles.
"Allowing companies like AK Steel to increase their mileage to 150 miles will create a more efficient delivery service to their end users," said Rep. Sinnette. "This bill will provide a more cost-effective service to plants around Kentucky and will help to increase productivity at the steel producing and user facility."