Governor Beshear

Despite progress toward building a state-run health insurance exchange in Kentucky, Governor Steve Beshear will likely have to re-issue an executive order to keep it alive.

Beshear issued an order creating the exchange earlier this year, after the Supreme Court ruled the Affordable Care Act was constitutional. And it’s a goal of state health officials to get the exchange protected under a law, rather than an executive order.

But Republican State Senator Tom Buford says his colleagues aren’t likely to support an exchange law.

“Probably not, in my opinion, we will probably allow the Governor to re-order the executive order again," said Buford.

A decline in coal mining tax revenue has many of Kentucky’s top officials concerned. House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Governor Steve Beshear say they are worried about the declining revenues form the coal severance tax.

The tax is used for a variety of state, county and local infrastructure projects, mostly in Eastern Kentucky. Beshear says the drop in revenue reflects the tough market for Kentucky coal.

“I am concerned about the coal severance receipts, they are down, they’re down significantly. And that because coal mining is down significantly, the tons of coal mined has dropped.”

Beshear says exports, mainly to India and China, could help the revenues rebound. However, the first shipment of coal in a celebrated trade deal with an Indian company is months behind schedule.

Governor Steve Beshear's legislative priorities for the coming year are a mix of old and new.

With the next session’s first days weeks away, Gov. Beshear is ready to push some old initiatives and help lawmakers solve pressing issues like the state's flailing pensions.

Beshear says he will once again try to find enough votes to pass expanded gambling legislation. And he wants to raise the school dropout age to 18 as well. In addition to those old reforms, Beshear says he wants to work with lawmakers to address recent reports from task forces that studied pensions and tax reform.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has stepped up the fight against synthetic drugs by signing emergency regulations banning newly identified forms of synthetic marijuana.

Beshear's action Tuesday is the first time an administrative regulation has been used to outlaw synthetic substances, which mimic the effects of cocaine, marijuana and other illegal stimulants.

In the past, Kentucky lawmakers have passed laws banning drugs known as "bath salts" and synthetic marijuana.

The governor says his regulation will allow the state to keep pace with "backyard chemists" who try to skirt the law by slightly altering formulas of such dangerous substances.

Kentucky and Ohio to Study Bridge Funding Options

Dec 12, 2012

The governors of Kentucky and Ohio have announced an agreement to work together to find the money to replace the outdated Brent Spence Bridge.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear agreed Wednesday to create a bi-state management team that will investigate funding options to replace the nearly 50-year-old span. The heavily used bridge carries traffic between the two states over the Ohio River and is considered obsolete.

Preliminary estimates for replacing the bridge run more than $2 billion.

Kentucky's Blue Ribbon Tax Commission has wrapped up its work, but Governor Steve Beshear says the biggest challenge to revising the tax code still remains.

Tax reform is on the tip of the tongue every few years in Frankfort. But historically, not much has been accomplished. Beshear will get the commission's latest recommendations for tax reform this week. And it'll be up to him to convince lawmakers that the panel's work is worth turning into law.

Is now the time for the General Assembly to address expanded gambling? (Again.) With just more than a month before the 2013  session begins, observers of the Kentucky legislature are wondering. A few new factors are at play: First is the governor’s continued interest in the topic. Second expanded gambling's chief opponent, David Williams, is gone.

A published report says three agencies are investigating allegations that a former state official pressured workers to contribute to the re-election campaign of Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear. The Courier-Journal reports the FBI, the state attorney general's office and the Kentucky Executive Branch Ethics Commission have interviewed current or former employees of the Department of Juvenile Justice about calls made in 2010 by former deputy secretary Charles Geveden.

Anti-gambling forces were heartened by an election that ousted a handful of legislative incumbents who had voted for failed casino and slots bills in recent years.

Gov. Steve Beshear has undergone minor outpatient surgery to repair a detached retina. Spokeswoman Kerri Richardson says the problem developed over the weekend and that Beshear woke and had trouble seeing out of one eye.

Gov. Steve Beshear has pledged $1 million in coal severance revenue to be used in Pikeville's push to get an airline to serve far eastern Kentucky. Pikeville officials have been trying to get passenger air service to their local airport for more than two years.

Ohio Man Sentenced for Threatening Kentucky Governor

Oct 30, 2012

The U.S. Attorney's Office says an Ohio man has been sentenced to 21 months in federal prison after admitting that he sent a threat to Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear. U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves handed down the sentence Tuesday to 45-year-old Thomas Hargreaves, who pleaded guilty in July to transmitting a threatening communication in interstate commerce.

Gov. Steve Beshear has signed an executive order directing the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to expedite the transportation of emergency supplies to victims of Superstorm Sandy. The order directs the cabinet to waive special registration and permit requirements for vehicles carrying relief supplies such as food, water and medicine.

Kentucky has made inroads in its fight against illegal drug abuse, and the momentum against drug pushers has gained steam thanks to a new law aimed at reversing a trend in which the state became a "prescription drug playground," Gov. Steve Beshear said Monday night.

A spokesman for Kentucky Senate President David Williams says Williams would consider a judicial appointment if Governor Steve Beshear offered the position. Williams and Beshear are bitter rivals. And rumors have been swirling in Frankfort that Beshear is planning to offer Williams an open circuit court seat in his southern Kentucky district. Williams is a trial lawyer by trade.

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