Western Kentucky

Amy created a roadmap, Mission: Rebuilding Kentucky, to address the immense economic pain caused by COVID-19. This plan will help rebuild Kentucky stronger than ever, and improve the lives of Kentuckians now and into the future.

As Kentucky’s Senator, Amy would take action to help families and small businesses get through this crisis, ensure every Kentuckian has access to affordable health care, provide good-paying jobs, and mitigate intergenerational poverty. Her plan for Western Kentucky will ensure that renters get the help they need right now, guarantee everyone has access to affordable health care, make reliable internet access available to everyone and reinvigorate schools.

Tackling the Housing Crisis

Even before the pandemic began, housing was a pressing issue in Bowling Green. To afford a one bedroom apartment, someone would need to work 67 hours at a minimum wage per week. Now, more than 40% of our state’s renters are at risk of eviction.

Mitch’s Failure

At a time when families need all the help they can get, Mitch wanted to end the unemployment bonus that allowed people to afford rent, discontinue the eviction moratorium that kept families in their homes, offer minimal rental assistance, and give state and local governments nothing to help people afford to stay in homes.

Amy’s Vision

Protect families and their homes. Amy wants to increase SNAP benefits to make sure people have the food they need. She wants to provide assistance to renters and continue the eviction moratorium. She wants to continue the unemployment benefit so that families have the money they need to get by. And she wants to help state and local governments with the aid they need to help their communities.

Impact

Unemployment assistance and a continued eviction moratorium would ensure that the more than 40% of Bowling Green renters who were cost burdened before COVID will not lose their home during this crisis.

Improving Health Outcomes

Only 17% of those living at or below 200% of the federal poverty level in Western Kentucky reported very good or excellent health.

Mitch’s Failure

Mitch voted to repeal or undermine the ACA at least 19 times and supported the lawsuit trying to overturn the ACA. In Western Kentucky, this would mean more than 70,000 people would lose their insurance.

Amy’s Vision

In addition to creating a public option that would make health care more affordable, she wants to expand funding for community health centers to provide care to Kentuckians who are often shut out of the standard health care system.

Impact

Nationwide, more than 90% of patients at community health centers lived below 200% of the federal poverty line. Investing in them will get more Western Kentuckians the care they need and will create jobs in communities that need them.

Expanding Broadband Access

In Hickman County, 38% of homes have no internet access, and more than 67% of people have no nearby access to the internet at reasonable speeds. In Lyon County, more than 30% of homes do not have internet access, and more than 70% of people don’t have access to the internet with the speeds they need to do things like complete school work or participate in the modern economy anywhere around them.

Mitch’s Failure

In 2013, Mitch voted against expanding rural broadband service. In 2012, he voted to cut federal assistance for rural broadband expansion.

Amy’s Vision

Amy will invest in ensuring every home has broadband with a 21st century equivalent of the Rural Electrification Act, which brought electricity to the more than 90% of rural farms that needed it.

Impact

Investing in broadband will not only give children the resources they need to learn in today’s economy but can also help spur job creation in local communities, make health care more accessible and affordable through telemedicine, and improve the job search process.

Improving School Infrastructure

In addition to the lack of internet access in the region, which prohibits every student from having an equal education, and any education during this pandemic, school buildings in Western Kentucky need investment. For example, Graves County Lowes Elementary school has no HVAC system.

Mitch’s Failure

Mitch doesn’t care about our schools. He has voted three times to eliminate the Department of Education, putting in jeopardy $500 million per year for elementary and secondary school programs in Kentucky.

Amy’s Vision

Amy will work to create federal grants for school districts that lack resources to upgrade their infrastructure, from installing new HVAC systems to providing computers to students.

Impact

Faulty heating and cooling systems lead to the loss of millions of school hours every year and make it harder for students to learn, while not having internet and access to a computer prevents students from receiving an equal education. Studies have repeatedly shown that even minor issues like weak air quality can affect educational outcomes. With better school infrastructure, Western Kentucky’s students will have a more equal education and a fairer shot at a better future.

Up Next

Partnering with Rural Kentucky

PAID FOR BY AMY MCGRATH FOR SENATE