Nucor Comes to Brandenburg

October 29th, 2020

Greetings, I wanted to let you know that I am running for re-election for the 27th House District, which covers Meade County, as well as part of Hardin County. Currently, I have the privilege of serving as a member of the Personnel, Public Retirement, & Finance Committee; Agriculture Committee; Health and Family Services Committee; Small Business & Information Technology Committee; and Child Welfare Oversight and Advisory Committee. I am proud to say I have been a steadfast advocate for policies that promote job creation and fiscal responsibility within our beloved Commonwealth.

In the past four years via the Senate and House Republican Majority, Kentucky has seen $20.1 Billion in Investments – one in our own backyard with the announcement by Nucor to invest $1.35 billion in Brandenburg. In March of 2019, Nucor announced the company’s plans to build a steel plate manufacturing mill in Meade County as both an immediate and long-term economic development achievement. The mill will create more than 400 full-time jobs at $45 an hour in the coming years and ranks as one of the state’s largest-ever single investments.

This 1.5 million-square foot facility will sit on 900 acres in the Buttermilk Falls Industrial Park along the Ohio River. With a production capacity of 12 million tons per year this steel mill will enhance Nucor’s ability to serve their customers throughout the region and meet needs for the company’s customers nationwide.

In addition to the economic opportunity stemming from the new jobs that Nucor Brandenburg will bring to Meade County, Nucor must make an overall $325,000 base payment under a PILOT for the first 19 years. Of the annual amount $75,000 would go to the school district, while $157,000 would go toward the needed upgrades for Brandenburg’s sewage treatment plant, which Nucor Brandenburg will tap into.

Also, Meade County 3 percent electricity usage charge could mean an additional $500,000 to $1 million per year to the schools, based on the estimated amount of energy Nucor Brandenburg will require to operate. Nucor Brandenburg would not increase taxes for the citizens of Meade County, contrary to misinformation communicated.

As a result of this announcement Consolidated Grain and Barge (CGB) accepted a payment from Nucor of more than $12 million for them to relocate off land required for the mill operation. As to why the grain terminal and Nucor could not coexist, the lawyers said continuing operation of the grain business would diminish Nucor’s “operation capacity” and pose safety and logistical issues due in part to increased traffic from grain trucks and staging for barges on the river. Local officials and I were not aware of this constraint at the time of the announcement and had optimistically planned on CGB relocating within the region. In addition to the $12 million to relocate, CBG is also eligible for an additional $8 million if unable to find a suitable location to rebuild in our region.

In order to communicate objection to the plans to dismantle CGB, the Lincoln Trail Grain Growers Association (LTGGA), five farmers and another farm corporation, filed suit against Meade County Fiscal Court, the county Riverport Authority, Consolidated Grain and Barge, Nucor and other parties, accusing these local leaders of abusing governmental power and violating the state’s Open Meetings Act.

In January of 2020, Judge Bruce Butler ruled against the suit, writing that the farmers failed to show that their rights were violated and that they would suffer irreparable injury or damage. The LTGGA has since appealed Judge Butler’s ruling, further hampering the ability for local leaders to negotiate a new facility with other granaries interested in replacing CGB in the region.

The Nucor Brandenburg opening has not been delayed by either COVID-19 nor these local obstacles and is on schedule to begin operations in 2022.

Another exciting fiscal economic opportunity is the announcement of the U.S. Army Fifth Corps (V Corps) which will be located at our very own Fort Knox. The V Corps Headquarters, projected to be operational by this fall, will consist of approximately 635 soldiers, of which approximately 200 will support a functional command post in Europe on a rotational basis.

V Corps will help the state’s economy tremendously, at a time when we need it most, since these soldiers will buy houses or rent apartments here, spend money in our local stores, and invest in our communities. Shortly after the announcement become public, I was told that Kentucky was chosen as a result of the work of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Congressman Brett Guthrie, in addition to the work we have done in Frankfort to make Kentucky one of the most military and veteran-friendly state in the nation.

I was looking forward to the 2020 session where I knew that while we would be faced with tough decisions, we would have the opportunity to make decisions that could change the landscape of Kentucky for years to come. We had been given the opportunity to build on the foundation that had set the Commonwealth up for historic low unemployment, a record number of economic investments, and strong revenue growth. That excitement grew after the House passed its version of the budget, which included increased per pupil spending in education, modest pay increases for teachers and state employees, and funding to hire and retain additional social workers to help Kentuckians living in state care.

Unfortunately, the final version of the budget that we passed was dramatically different from earlier versions. We were forced to make changes after working with the Governor’s budget director to make sure we based the spending revenue on COVID-19’s forecasted impact on our economy. As a result, funding for many programs will be stagnant, with no increase to education funding, pay increases or additional staff to address social work. Even with the changes we made, state government will likely still have to tighten its belt, just as so many Kentuckians are already doing.

While upon the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to continue with legislative business, we were forced to focus on only a fraction of the bills filed for this session. Unfortunately, among the bills we did not have a chance to finish working on were three that I personally sponsored. Although I am disappointed, I am confident that next session we will have more time to get these measures through both chambers.

HB370-This measure would require health and abortion facilities to notify parents that it is their right to determine the final disposition of the fetal remains and would prohibit offering or accepting money for fetal remains. Currently, the remains can be and are frequently disposed of as medical waste.

HB447 – This bill would establish that an infant safety device (Safe Haven Baby Box) be optionally installed at visible public locations such as, a police station, a fire station, a hospital, or a church allowing a parent to anonymously and safely surrender their child, giving emergency medical service providers temporary custody of the infant.

HB638 – Currently, the electronic voting machines in 19 districts in the Commonwealth of Kentucky cannot be audited due to the inability to retain and print ballots. This bill would require electronic voting machines to be obsolesced opportunistically in each of these districts with machines that provide the ability to cast paper ballots that can be printed and retained for 22 months. As Americans, regardless of our political party, voting is one of our most precious liberties. My bill would further strengthen that liberty.

I intend to pre-file these measures for consideration during the 2021 Session. For I am confident that in 2021 the House will return its focus to passing legislation aimed at making families stronger by growing our economy, protecting life, defending our most vulnerable and preserving Kentucky’s values.

In addition to budget measures passed during the 2020 session, the following are some of the bills that were passed that demonstrate the Kentucky House of Representatives’ commitment during both the 2019 and 2020 sessions.

Due to our interstate system and central location, Kentucky is a convenient and centralized hub for human trafficking. Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked worldwide. It can happen in any community, and victims can be of any age, race, gender, or nationality. I was honored to co-sponsor 2020 HB2, which is a vital piece of legislation that will provide aid to victims of human trafficking and strengthens the ability to prosecute traffickers. HB2 will also require signage that includes the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline and other information about resources available to victims of human trafficking to be posted in public restrooms, at airports, bus stops, and truck stops. This bill was one that members of the Kentucky House of Representatives voted unanimously to approve, has been signed into law, and had overwhelming support for Attorney General Daniel Cameron.

2020 SB8 focused on ensuring our students are safe while at school. The legislation clarifies that an armed school resource officer (SRO) must be present on each school campus. We will continue to witness violence in our schools, and this is one step towards ensuring they are safe places where children can learn without fear.

Sadly, a measure we approved to help protect lives of the unborn was later vetoed by the Governor. SB9 had several sections that sought to define how our state abortion clinics operate. The original version of the bill mandated that any baby born alive after a blotched abortion receive proper medical care. Health care workers would have been required to provide the same level of treatment given to any infant, including life-sustaining intervention. We passed this bill late in the session, taking time to include language that gave the Attorney General authority to close clinics during times of emergency and when they do not comply with the law. You may remember that the Governor deemed the state abortion clinics “essential”, even though getting an abortion is clearly an elective procedure. Abortions are performed only five days a week, but every week of the COVID-19 crisis; more people in Kentucky have been killed by abortions than COVID-19. In multiple calendar days abortion deaths were four to five times more than the reported COVID-19 deaths. I believe strongly in the sanctity of live, and as elected officials, it is imperative that we take every step possible to ensure that all babies’ lives are protected by law. While we did not have the opportunity to override the veto, this measure will be filed again.

During the 2019 session, I had the opportunity to participate in the passage of four pro-life bills: HB5, HB148, SB9, and SB50. I had the opportunity to be a primary sponsor for HB5 which prevents the abortion of a baby based on race, sex, ethnicity, or disability. I felt this one hit home for me since some countries claim that they have eliminated Downs Syndrome from their population. They have not cured the condition – they are aborting these babies from the womb.

I had the opportunity to carry 2019 HB513 for Health & Family Services that changed requirements for facilities offering Substance Abuse treatment, removing some of the red tape that they were required to commit to on an annual basis.

I also had the opportunity to carry 2019 SB18 in the House further defining what it meant to make accommodations for women that are pregnant and for people with disabilities.

I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to serve you and our community in the 27th House District in the Kentucky House of Representatives. I plan to continue using the skills that I have developed from being a 33-year employee of United Parcel Service in the Information Technology division. I recently retired after providing technical support and acting as an IT Security / Business Continuity / Disaster Recovery Manager for the UPS Airline and Worldport, UPS’ largest air facility located in Louisville, Kentucky.

I have been actively involved in our community, serving as both the Vice-President and President of the Meade-Breck chapter and serving on the state board for the Kentucky Right to Life. I have also worked with the United Way for more than 30 years both as a donor and as an organizer for their local fundraising campaigns. I served on the local United Way of Central Kentucky board for three years and am a life-time member of the NRA.

I hold a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Mid-Continent University and a Master’s in Project Management from the George Washington University. I live in Brandenburg with my husband of 35 years, Ed Tate, and have adult three children and three grandchildren.

I have been in active member of St. John the Apostle Church in Brandenburg for 25 years and have served in many capacities, including committee chair, youth religious education instructor, and retreat chaperone. Feel free to visit my website for more information about my platform. I can be contacted via (270) 750-1057.

I humbly ask for your support in my re-election efforts. I believe we have demonstrated that like-minded people working together can change the dynamics of this state – on the federal, the state, and the local levels. It is an exciting time, and I am proud to be part of this winning team. Thank you!

Nancy J. Tate