A Daviess County leader says he hopes the counties in his region will soon be included in some sort of coal tax college scholarship program. The scholarship fund announced this week by Governor Beshear includes nine counties in eastern Kentucky. While not criticizing the Governor's plan, Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly told WKU Public Radio a college scholarship program paid for by coal severance tax dollars could greatly benefit his and other coal-producing western counties, like Henderson, Webster, and Hopkins.
"We have several hundred students that lack just a few hours from getting their degree," said Mattingly. "They simply don't have the money to go back to school to complete those degrees. If we could give them a scholarship program that would be a bridge...it would allow them to return and complete those three or six hours of classes, then there would be a tremendous amount of students in Daviess County who could get their degree."
Governor Beshear told WKU Public Radio Thursday that a consultant hired by the state determined the nine southeastern counties were the most in need of a new college scholarship effort. Beshear added the project will be re-visited in two years, and that other counties could be included at that time.
The nine counties in western Kentucky that produce coal are Butler, Daviess, Henderson, Hopkins, McLean, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Union, and Webster.