In what some are calling an unusual move, Gov. Steve Beshear has filed a petition requesting the U.S. Supreme Court decide whether states can reject same-sex marriage.
It comes after a federal appeals court upheld Kentucky’s and several other states’ same-sex marriage bans.
Beshear says the nation’s highest court should decide whether states like Kentucky can prohibit same-sex marriage, and settle the question of whether Kentucky must recognize gay marriages performed out-of-state.
Governor Steve Beshear's image as a Democrat able to govern the red state of Kentucky has earned him a position on the newly appointed Democratic Victory Task Force.
The Democratic National Committee, which announced the group's membership Thursday, hopes it can help position the party to win future elections.
DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced the initiative shortly after Democrats suffered significant losses during last month’s midterm elections. The group is being told to review and assess the Democratic Party and its related organizations, and find ways that the national and state parties can better perform during, but not limited to, future midterms.
Beshear has earned a national reputation as a conservative Democrat who has been able to win and govern in a state where President Obama remains extremely unpopular. In announcing his participation in the task force, the DNC lauded Beshear for implementing the statewide health benefit exchange known as kynect and cutting the state government workforce to its smallest size in 40 years.
The other nine members of the Democratic Victory Task are:
Jamie Link has been chosen as the new executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. Link is currently the deputy chief of staff for Gov. Steve Beshear.
Link was the C-E-O for the World Equestrian Games when they were held at the Kentucky Horse Park in 2010. The park welcomed more than 800,000 visitors last year and is an agency of the state Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet.
“I look forward to working with Jamie as we strive to make the Kentucky Horse Park an even better attraction for visitors to Kentucky,” said. Gov. Beshear. “This is an outstanding selection by the commission, and I appreciate their hard work. The Kentucky Horse Park plays a vital role in tourism for the entire state.”
Gov. Steve Beshear has announced the creation of a new task force to combat bullying in Kentucky’s schools.
Beshear named the 22-member Kentucky Youth Bullying Prevention Task Force Thursday in Frankfort. He cited statistics from the Kentucky Department of Education that found over 15,000 reported incidents of bullying in the 2012-2013 school year, as well as research that links bullying with dropout rates and teen suicides.
“When you have these incidents of bullying contributing to teen suicides and attempted suicides, that’s a huge problem," Beshear said. "So we’re going to take a comprehensive look at this, and hopefully come up with some other avenues and some other tools that will give us a comprehensive set of solutions.”
The task force will examine legislative approaches and school practices, and the link between cyber-bullying and teen suicide.
The group will provide a written report of its findings to the governor’s office in November 2015.
Attorneys General from Kentucky, Indiana and 10 other states are suing the federal Environmental Protection Agency over proposed greenhouse gas regulations.
The EPA has been required to regulate greenhouse gases—like carbon dioxide—since 2007, when the Supreme Court determined the gases posed a danger to human health. The lawsuit filed in the D.C. Court of Appeals on Friday takes issue with the way the EPA has proposed the regulations.
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway joined the suit without input from the Beshear Administration’s Energy and Environment Cabinet. Conway referenced the lawsuit in his Fancy Farm speech over the weekend.
"In fact, you’re looking at the only Democratic Attorney General in the country who is standing up for our coal and our low electricity rates by suing the EPA over whether they even have the authority to implement these new rules," Conway said to the crowd Saturday.
Under the proposed regulation, Kentucky will have to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 18 percent, and Indiana by 20 percent. But the way the emissions reductions are reached is left primarily up to the states.
Kentucky has awarded a $10 million dollar contract to a Missouri company to reconstruct the Breathitt-Pennyrile Parkway/Kentucky 56 interchange near Sebree. The upgrade, to be completed by Dumey Contracting, will help bring the parkway up to interstate highway standards as the state continues work on completing the I-69 corridor.
“This is another important step toward completion of I-69 in western Kentucky,” Gov. Steve Beshear said in a written statement. “An additional interstate route means additional opportunity for economic development in western Kentucky and, indeed, throughout the Commonwealth. And the improvements being made in the I-69 corridor will result in safer, more efficient travel through the region.”
Work is expected to be complete on the Kentucky 56 interchange by October, 2015. After that, Governor Steve Beshear’s office says, the only interchange left to upgrade on the Pennyrile will be at Morton’s Gap.
Fifty-five miles of highway in western Kentucky currently feature the I-69 shield.
Alltech is investing about $24 million in a new Eastern Kentucky facility to help shore up economic development in the area.
Touted by Gov. Steve Beshear and Kentucky Congressman Hal Rogers, the development will expand Alltech’s distillery operations on a 380-acre reclaimed surface mine, and will grow to include aquaculture fish farms and an egg laying operation.
Deirdre Lyons is director of corporate image for Alltech. She says Eastern Kentucky brings back memories of her native homeland.
Gov. Steve Beshear issued a pair of executive orders this week reducing state spending levels to plug a $90.9-million hole in Kentucky's budget.
The Office of the State Budget Director announced the shortfall last week, which is due largely to an unexpected $63-million decline in income related to capital gains.
Beshear's cuts cover the $90.9-million gap.
In a statement released Wednesday night, Beshear said the state was "somewhat limited" in its approach to filling the budget hole.
“But as in previous reductions, two goals guided our decisions—to take steps to make government as efficient and as lean as possible, and to protect as best we can the core services that offer help and hope to our people and represent important long-term investments in Kentucky’s future: education, health care and public safety," Beshear said in the released statement.
Disappointment from earlier this year has been turned inside-out for the Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport.
In late April, Governor Steve Beshear vetoed $750,000 dollars from this year’s budget that would have gone to help lure a commercial airline to Bowling Green for the first time in decades. But airport general manager Rob Barnett learned Thursday morning, Kentucky will be able to invest that $750,000 dollars in July 2015 in the second year of the biennium.
“We now have a total incentive package of two million dollars to offer airlines that might be interested in servicing Bowling Green, Kentucky,” said Barnett.
Barnett says a recent study showed over 700,000 airline tickets were purchased by residents in Warren and nine surrounding counties over the past year. He says he’ll continue dialogue with potential airline partners over the next year. Barnett says he never lost confidence that the airport would receive the state funding, even after the veto in the spring.