PADUCAH, KY (5/31/12) – Governor Steve Beshear ceremonially signed Kentucky House Bill 559 into effect today at West Kentucky Community and Technical College on Thursday in Paducah. The Governor was accompanied by many McCracken County citizens and elected officials.
Paducah Mayor William F. Paxton said, “Today is a big day for Paducah and McCracken County.”
The bill will save 1,200 jobs at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant. The plant produces enriched uranium for nuclear power plants. The bill guarantees 1,200 Paducah employees their job for at least another year.
“We’re here to celebrate,” said Gov. Beshear. “We are finally able to take the next step. It’s a temporary step; we’ve got another year of our folks working. We can’t let up.”
The Governor noted that the jobs are only saved for another year and that they hope to continue fighting to make the jobs permanent.
Beshear commented on how Kentucky is coal country and that the word “nuclear” scares coal country. “However, this was about saving jobs today. With this economy, we can’t afford to lose jobs,” said the Governor.
Rocky Adkins, the Majority Floor leader, is an Eastern Kentucky native and was a huge supporter of the legislation. “When people work together, great things can happen. Legislation doesn’t get passed without working together,” Adkins said.
Adkins stressed about how they can’t let up yet. He stated that with the way the economy is going, they can’t afford to lose these jobs. Adkins said, “Folks, we talk about jobs, we have got to retain jobs to get them in the future.”
Adkins believes in energy independence and says it is not acceptable that the U.S. gets 65 percent of their oil from a foreign place. He hopes that in the future we can find ways to get oil from here.
The bill was passed unanimously by a vote of 97-0 on March 14. The Governor’s signing on Thursday was ceremonial. The law was officially signed by Governor Beshear on April 11.
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