Governor Steve Beshear

Politics
7:00 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Did Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear Get Calls, Voicemails Regarding the Same-Sex Marriage Appeal?

Steve Beshear
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

When Gov. Steve Beshear announced that he would split with Attorney General Jack Conway and appeal a federal judge's ruling requiring Kentucky to recognize same sex marriage, he upset marriage-equality proponents, who took to Twitter. They encouraged followers to call the governor's office at (502) 564-2611 and leave a message.

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Local News
10:55 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

New Documentary Celebrates 100 Year Old Kentucky Governor's Mansion

The centennial celebration of the Kentucky Governor’s Mansion begins this week with the premiere of a new documentary about the residence.

The film is narrated by Kentucky native Diane Sawyer. It features reenactments, interviews with former governors and their families as well as current Governor Steve Beshear.

State curator and director of historic properties David Buchta says the film pays meticulous attention to detail:

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Local News
4:59 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

New Documentary Celebrates 100 Year Old Kentucky Governor's Mansion

The centennial celebration of the Kentucky Governor’s Mansion begins this week with the premiere of a new documentary about the residence.

The film is narrated by Kentucky native Diane Sawyer. It features reenactments, interviews with former governors and their families as well as current Governor Steve Beshear.

State curator and director of historic properties David Buchta says the film pays meticulous attention to detail:

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Politics
10:00 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Kentucky's General Fund Expected to Grow 2.5 Percent Over Next 2 Fiscal Years

Credit File photo

A panel of nonpartisan economists reports that Kentucky’s General Fund is expected to grow by just over 2.5 percent over the next two fiscal years.

That'll bring in about half a billion dollars. But in next year's budget, half of that will likely go toward pension payments, inflation on medical care costs and paying down nearly $160 million of a structural budget deficit.

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Politics
2:11 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Governor, Others Must Drive to Farthest East, West Points in Kentucky, Legislator Proposes

Steve Beshear
Credit Joseph Lord/WFPL News

A Kentucky lawmaker has pre-filed a bill that would require many state leaders—including the governor—to visit the state’s most eastern and western counties before taking office.

State Rep. Kenny Imes, a Murray Republican, has sponsored the bill. It requires policy makers in the executive cabinet and their deputies to drive—not fly—to Fulton and Pike Counties at least six months before they take office. It does not reimburse their travel costs.

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Politics
6:49 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Gov. Steve Beshear: Abramson Would've Made a 'Great Governor'

Steve Beshear and Jerry Abramson
Credit File photo

Steve Beshear and Jerry Abramson have been friends and allies for three decades. The friendship culminated with Gov. Beshear choosing the former Louisville mayor to be his running mate for the 2011 election.

But on Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Abramson announced that he won't seek the governor's office in 2015—he instead wants to focus on advocating for education.

Speaking Wednesday in Louisville, Beshear said he and Abramson will “keep working for the next two and a half years to create jobs, to invest in education.

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Local News
3:04 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Beshear Discusses Auditor's Report of Misused Funds at Kentucky Emergency Management

John Heltzel
Credit kyem.ky.gov

Gov. Steve Beshear said he hasn't "taken any options off the table" in dealing with Kentucky Emergency Management following a state auditor's report alleging that the agency spent more than $100,000 on parties and other disallowed expenditures.

The audit released Tuesday also found that Kentucky Emergency Management officials intimidated employees and altered documents regarding the expenditures.

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Local News
1:08 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Texting While Driving Will Cost 3 Points Against Kentucky Driver's License

Credit Shutterstock.com

Kentucky drivers will soon be assessed three "penalty points" against their licenses each time they're convicted of texting while driving.

The new penalty will be enacted through administrative regulations ordered by Gov. Steve Beshear, who announced the change in Louisville on Wednesday morning.

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Strange Fruit
10:39 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Strange Fruit: Rob Portman for Marriage Equality; Trevor Hoppe on the Criminalization of HIV

It's been a week full of political news on the LGBTQ front, so we asked WFPL's political editor, Phillip M. Bailey, to join us for our Juicy Fruit segment this week and help us talk through some of the finer points of these issues. Here in Kentucky, we've been watching and waiting to see what Governor Beshear would do with House Bill 279, the so-called 'religious freedom' bill that would let people ignore civil rights laws that go against their religious beliefs. 

On Monday, we learned the city of Covington had joined the chorus of those opposing the bill and urging a veto. Covington Mayor Sherry Carran sent Beshear a letter warning the bill could "do harm and will present a poor image of our state to progressive professionals and companies who understand and appreciate the value of diversity and open-mindedness."

Naturally, opponents of the bill in Louisville then collectively turned their heads and raised an eyebrow at our own Mayor Greg Fischer, and on Tuesday he sent a letter of his own to the capitol, saying the law was unnecessary. "We don’t need this proposed law, full of ambiguity and question, to prove our religious freedom and protect our citizens from some perceived threat. We have plenty of laws and a Constitution adopted by our citizens that provide us ample protections—no matter our faith, our profession, or our other rights and traits as human beings."

Indeed, on Friday, Governor Beshear did veto the bill, and now it comes down to whether the General Assembly will override the gubernatorial veto—which it appears to have enough votes to do.

In national news, Senator Rob Portman became the first GOP senator to publicly support marriage equality for LGBTQ folks. He revealed this week that he changed his mind on the issue because his son is gay. Hillary Clinton also released a video statement this week voicing her unequivocal support of same gender marriage, saying "Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights."

But Phillip, who covers politics full time, didn't have the same warm fuzzy feelings as many did over these announcements. He pointed out that Senator Portman has known his son is gay for two years, and that Clinton is widely rumored to be planning a run for president in 2016. So the cynical observer could see these moves as exactly that: PR maneuvers, carefully timed for maximum political advantage.

Jaison, so often the voice of activism and idealism on our show, preferred the less cynical explanation. "Are there any politicians who do the right thing just for the sake of doing it?" We'll let you listen for the discussion that followed.

Earlier this month we mentioned in a Juicy Fruit segment that people in Michigan were suffering legal consequences for supposedly-confidential HIV tests. To learn more, we called Trevor Hoppe. He's a graduate student at the University of Michigan who's studying sexuality, medicine, and the law. Trevor told us there are indeed cases of no- or very-low-risk behavior on the part of HIV-positive folks being treated like deliberate endangerment in the eyes of the law.

He says the criminalization of these seemingly-innocuous acts is a method of social control that has little to do with actually protecting public health. "I think it's just another way that HIV-positive people face a particular kind of stigma, despite the fact that there's no risk in these cases. It's not about that. It's about punishing HIV-positive people as much as the law can facilitate."

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