Governor Beshear

1:39 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Beshear: Kentucky Must Tap Fort Knox's Potential Amid Planned Brigade Loss

Governor Steve Beshear says he will be working with Kentucky's Congressional delegation to hopefully soften the loss of a brigade at Fort Knox. 

The cuts announced Tuesday will deactivate the Third Brigade Combat Team, which has about 3,500 soldiers.   The number of active duty combat brigades is being slashed as the military returns to pre-9\11 troop levels.

Beshear says not much can be done about the federal decision, but the state can continue to position Fort Knox as a vital resource to the Defense Department.  He suggests building on changes the post made under the military's base re-alignment some five years go.

"We ended up building the biggest office building in this state on Fort Knox to house the Human Resources Command that handles all human resources for the Army," Beshear remarks.  "Why not move human resources for the Air Force, Marines, Navy to that location?"

Beshear claims having human resources for every military branch at one location could be an efficiency measure for the Department of Defense.  In addition, he says officials will be looking at other ways to maximize the use of Fort Knox.

3:04 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Beshear Meets with Legislative Leaders on Redistricting Plans

Gov. Steve Beshear was meeting Monday afternoon with House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Senate President Robert Stivers to try to work on a plan to resolve legislative redistricting.

The governor has said he is confident that the issue will be resolved in a special session sometime this year.

Each decade, lawmakers are required to draw new legislative district boundaries to account for population changes recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau. Kentucky had major population shifts between 2000 and 2010, requiring changes in boundary lines to comply with the federal and state "one person, one vote" mandate.

Two federal lawsuits have been filed in recent weeks to speed up the process in Kentucky. One asks that a three-judge panel redraw boundaries.

8:23 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Timing of Special Legislative Session in Kentucky Remains Uncertain

The state capitol in Frankfort will likely host a special legislative session sometime this fall.
Credit Kevin Willis

The timing of a special legislative session remains uncertain, though Gov. Steve Beshear and top lawmakers have been tossing around potential dates.

Beshear wants lawmakers back in Frankfort before the end of the year to resolve the lingering issue of legislative redistricting, a politically divisive issue that tends to overshadow all other matters when it's up for consideration.

The governor said he wants the issue resolved before lawmakers begin budget talks in January.

Redistricting is undertaken every 10 years to account for population changes recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau. Kentucky had major population shifts between 2000 and 2010, requiring reconfiguration of legislative districts in both the House and Senate.

The Kentucky Supreme Court struck down lawmakers' initial redistricting plan last year, forcing them to start over.

6:23 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Henderson Company Expands, Adds Jobs

Gov. Steve Beshear joined local and company officials Wednesday in announcing that Gibbs Die Casting is expanding operations at its world headquarters in Henderson, adding 160 jobs and investing more than $22.8 million.

Gibbs Die Casting, established in 1965 and owned by Koch Enterprises, has grown into one of the world’s largest die casting companies, operating eight factories for aluminum and magnesium casting, machining, assembly and die building with facilities in Hungary, Brazil and China. The Henderson facility currently employs more than 560 people.

The expansion project includes adding new manufacturing lines for eight-speed transmission parts and rear axles for the automotive industry.

3:10 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Kentucky Tea Party Wins Round in Lawsuit Over Health Care Reform

The tea party has won the first round in a lawsuit that questions the legality of the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange that Gov. Steve Beshear set up last year by executive order.

Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip J. Shepherd refused to dismiss the lawsuit on Thursday, as had been requested by attorneys for the state.

The state argued unsuccessfully that taxpayers don’t have legal standing to challenge the legality of the Kentucky Health Benefits Exchange, which is intended to help uninsured people arrange insurance coverage under the federal health care overhaul.

Tea party activist David Adams filed the lawsuit last month, claiming Beshear created the exchange without necessary legislative approval. Adams wants Shepherd to order work on the exchange to cease.

6:00 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Richards and Stone: Lawsuits Put Added Pressure on State to Get Redistricting Done

A Warren County lawmaker says he agrees with Governor Steve Beshear on the need to get legislative redistricting maps done before the 2014 General Assembly.

Bowling Green Representative Jody Richards told WKU Public Radio he hopes House and Senate leaders can come to an agreement on new maps ahead of a possible special legislative session this fall.

"I hope that everybody gets together, and that we do a five-day session, which is the quickest you can possibly do," said Richards. "We don't need to get up there and argue. Everything needs to be settled before we go."

Richards says two lawsuits filed against the state over the lack of a redistricting plan are adding to the urgency lawmakers feel about getting new maps passed. Those lawsuits were filed by a group of county clerks in northern Kentucky and the state chapter of the ACLU, and accuse the state of violating federal law by not having in place new legislative maps based on the latest U.S. Census data.

Read more
3:28 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Beshear to Announce Decision on Medicaid Expansion Thursday Afternoon

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is set to announce whether or not he’ll expand Kentucky’s Medicaid program.

The Governor’s office says Beshear will share his decision Thursday at a 1:30 p.m. eastern time news conference at the state capitol building.

Under the federal Affordable Care Act, each state has the option of expanding its Medicaid services to those earning less than 133 percent of the poverty rate. The federal government has agreed to pay each state’s additional costs related to expansion for the first three years, with Washington picking up 90 percent of the tab each following year.

Some conservatives and Tea Party activists have called on Beshear not to agree to the expansion, saying the commonwealth can’t afford any additional costs.

Supporters say it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to extend the program to a wider number of Kentuckians who are struggling with high health care costs.

2:24 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Health Group Starts Ad Campaign in Support of Kentucky Medicaid Expansion

A leading health organization in Kentucky is putting the pressure on Gov. Steve Beshear to expand Medicaid services under the Affordable Care Act.

Kentucky Voices for Health Executive Director Regan Hunt says her group is launching a two-week radio ad campaign pressure Beshear to expand Medicaid. The radio ad campaign will be partnered with a month long online ad campaign.

So far, the governor has delayed making a decision— although he seems to support the ideal, if fiscally possible.

Under the healthcare law, the federal government will pay 100 percent of expansion costs for three years and then 90 percent after that.

Read more
12:33 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Toyota to Add Jobs, Begin New Lexus Production at Kentucky Plant

Lexus ES 350

A Lexus luxury brand vehicle will soon be built in the Bluegrass State. Toyota officials made the formal announcement Friday morning at the auto maker’s Georgetown, Kentucky, plant, where production of the Lexus ES 350 will begin in 2015.

Governor Beshear told Toyota leaders in attendance that he appreciates their decision to invest further in Kentucky.

“We realize the care and the pride that you take in that vehicle and that it requires the utmost in a skilled workforce, not to mention top quality components,” said Beshear. “Your confidence in the quality of Kentucky’s workers, especially our team here in Georgetown is appreciated and well placed.”

Kentucky Toyota workers will produce about 50,000 of the new Lexus vehicles annually once production begins in two years. The expansion will add an estimated 750 new jobs to a facility that already employs 6,600 workers.

7:55 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Beshear Calls McConnell Recording 'Deplorable,' Criticizes McConnell's Remarks

Governor Steve Beshear is criticizing the secret recording of a campaign meeting of U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell  that was leaked.

Two members of Progress Kentucky, Shawn Reilly and Curt Morrison, have been implicated by a Jefferson County Democratic official as being behind who secretly recorded the McConnell meeting.

Kentucky Democratic leaders have been largely silent on the situation since the news broke last week. But after being asked Wednesday about the recording, Beshear said he found the whole situation—both the secret taping and McConnell's remarks — to be awful.

"I think it's deplorable, just in general, about taping conversations and that kind of thing. I find it about as deplorable as I do Senator McConnell's political tactics that he was talking about," Beshear says.

Read more