Lawmakers exert influence in deciding uses for pandemic aid

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s Republican lawmakers have doubled down on demanding the Democratic governor obtain their approval before spending new federal pandemic relief. The lawmakers also started signaling their own priorities for allocating Kentucky’s share of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. State government in Kentucky is expected to receive about $2.4 billion in pandemic assistance. The legislature pushed through a bill Tuesday designating $250 million of the federal assistance to extend broadband service to the hardest-to-reach regions of Kentucky. Republicans tucked language into another spending bill Tuesday that puts more restrictions on Beshear in deciding how federal relief will be spent.