Democratic Governor Steve Beshear said Wednesday he likely would not call the legislature back for a special session to pass bills combating heroin use and overhauling state ethics laws.
Beshear told reporters he would only call the legislature back in session if Republican and Democratic leaders agreed to pass certain legislation. The governor said he did not sense an overwhelming desire for a special session after speaking with leaders from both parties.
Republican Senate President Robert Stivers has asked Beshear for a special session to pass the heroin bill.
Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo has asked the governor for a special session to pass ethics reform following the Legislative Ethics Commission's decision to not punish a state lawmaker accused of sexual harassment.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has ceremonially signed into law a measure that would require Kentucky physicians to undergo training to detect signs of child abuse.
Republican Rep. Addia Wuchner sponsored the bill. Three other states have similar laws, and Wuchner says this will address Kentucky's problem with abuse-related fatalities and injuries.
“The statistics are heart-rendering. We all know them, we hear them repeatedly. There are numbers that we never wanted Kentucky to be number one in. We like being number one in basketball, and all those other arenas. But sadly, Kentucky’s children cried out that we do something differently," the GOP lawmaker said.
Beshear says the training will be funded in part by medical licensing fees.
Kentucky averages 29 child deaths each year due to abuse and neglect.
The city of Glasgow has taken another step toward limiting the impact of methane gas released from its landfill.
Governor Steve Beshear was in Barren County Wednesday to present Glasgow city leaders with a $100,000 grant from the state to pursue a landfill gas generation project.
Currently, methane emitted from garbage at local landfills is vented into the atmosphere. Under the new plan, methane would be piped into a generator and converted into electricity.
“This methane gas to electricity process is something we need to do more of in this country," Beshear said. "And to take refuge in a landfill, and take the methane gas off of that and turn it into electricity and put it on the grid so that people can use it--it saves us all money, it saves the environment.”
Glasgow mayor Rhonda Trautman says the city is acting now to avoid problems later.
Gov. Steve Beshear has announced a new initiative aimed at improving Kentucky’s health outcomes over the next five years.
‘KyHealthNow’ (Kentucky Health Now) will seek to improve Kentuckians’ health in the areas of smoking, obesity, cancer, heart disease and more by 10 percent.
Beshear says the initiative will piggyback off of the success of the state’s implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act, which has enrolled over 240,000 people across the commonwealth.
“We want to reduce Kentucky’s rate of uninsured individuals to less than five percent," the Governor said Thursday. "The link between access to affordable health care and good health is clear, it’s direct, it’s indisputable.”
Beshear says the initiative will coordinate executive and legislative actions, as well as public private partnerships.
Kentucky ranks among the worst states for rates of smoking, cancer deaths and heart attacks.
Making good on his pledge to reinvest in K-12 education, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear's biennial budget would restore public education funding to 2008 levels, with a pledge of $189 million in a budget greater than $20 billion.
But Beshear said his budget was was made possible in large part by a 5 percent cut across many state agencies.
"Two weeks ago," Beshear began on Tuesday evening, "I stood here and signaled my intent in clear and decisive words: 'I am determined to find money to reinvest in education,' I said then, 'Even if I have to make harmful cuts in other areas to do so.' Well, that's precisely what this two-year budget proposal does: It makes damaging cuts in many areas in order to keep Kentucky at the forefront of educational attainment in this nation."
Beshear said restoring SEEK formula for primary and high school education funding was among his top priories in crafting the 2014-2016 budget, which will also seek to invest $100 million in broadband Internet access in Eastern Kentucky, and set aside bond revenue for construction projects for Kentucky Community and Technical College System schools.
Since taking office, Beshear has reduced state services by a cumulative 41 percent, for a total of $1.6 billion in cuts over the last six years. The additional cuts would likely have an effect on employee attrition, prompting layoffs, service delays and facility closures.
Gov. Steve Beshear is set to deliver his budget proposal to a joint session of the Kentucky House and Senate. It marks the starting point for months of haggling over a larger pool of state revenues still not expected to meet funding demands.
Leading up to his Tuesday night speech, the governor warned lawmakers face a "tough budget situation," despite the projected upswing in revenue flowing into Kentucky's General Fund in the next two years.
Beshear says the extra revenue will be consumed by big-ticket spending obligations, including shoring up the government pension system.
The governor has said he's willing to propose cuts in parts of state government to free up money for education.
Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer predicts lawmakers will say "no" to most requests for additional funding.
The Mountain Parkway in Eastern Kentucky will expand to four lanes in the coming years under a proposal from Governor Steve Beshear.
Beshear's proposal will be paid for with nearly $600 million in state and federal highway funding, and over $150 million in funds recovered by toll revenues.
“The Kentucky Highway Plan that I will be recommending to the General Assembly will include a series of construction projects by which the Mountain Parkway will be four-laned, lengthened and thoroughly modernized by the year 2020," the Governor said.
House and Senate leadership eagerly support the plan, which will need to be approved by the General Assembly.
Construction on the project’s first phase, which includes Magoffin and Morgan Counties, is slated to begin later this year.
Kentucky will mark next month the 100th anniversary of the Kentucky governor’s mansion in Frankfort. Governor Steve Beshear’s office has announced that the state will commemorate the Jan. 20th anniversary with a year-long celebration.
“Jane and I have been fortunate to live at the Mansion and experience firsthand the stunning architecture and impeccable attention to detail that went in to constructing this historic landmark,” said Gov. Beshear. “But we are just the temporary residents. This magnificent building is truly the people’s house and belongs to every Kentuckian.”
The festivities will include both public and private events, all of which have been paid for with private donations, according to the governor’s office.
Kentucky’s Democratic governor says implementing the Affordable Care Act is “the morally right thing to do.”
Kentucky is the only southern state both expanding Medicaid and operating a state-based health exchange.
Appearing Thursday on the national radio show "The Takeaway," Governor Steve Beshear said Kentucky can’t afford not to do it.
“We have some of the worst health statistics in the country," explained Beshear. "If there’s some way I can attack that and change the course of history in Kentucky on health care, I’m going to do it, and the Affordable Care Act gives me a historic opportunity and a tool to do just that.”
Kentucky’s high school graduation rate is one of the highest in state history and education officials say more students are finishing college and career ready than ever before.
Gov. Steve Beshear joined Education Commissioner Terry Holliday Tuesday in announcing the preliminary results of new assessment data that will be released later this month. Beshear says the state posted an 86 percent graduation rate this year, improving from the 78 percent rate in 2012. .
Also, more than half of Kentucky students are graduating ready for college and career ready, which means fewer remedial courses for those entering college.
Beshear calls it a turning point in Kentucky education history, which he says at times has been embarrassing.
“But thanks to decades of hard work and policy changes Kentucky has carved out a new reputation. A reputation as a reform minded state that is innovative, bold and relentless," the Governor said.
Results for individual schools and districts are expected to be released late next week.