Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear

Politics
4:13 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Democrats, Health Groups Praise Beshear's Decision to Expand Medicaid

Credit Shutterstock.com

After months of deliberations, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has decided to expand Medicaid in Kentucky under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare—a move that's won praise from Democrats and health advocacy groups.

Beshear said Thursday that expansion benefits Kentucky in many ways.

"This move makes sense not only for our health but also for our pocketbook. More important it makes sense for our future," he says.

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Politics
3:10 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Stumbo Pens Letter to Beshear Asking for Special Session for Redistricting

Greg Stumbo
Credit Legislative Research Commission

House Speaker Greg Stumbo is encouraging Gov. Steve Beshear to soon call a General Assembly special session so that lawmakers can pass new state legislative redistricting maps and end a federal lawsuit.

Last week,  several county clerks in Northern Kentucky filed a federal lawsuit claiming the state's inability to finish redistricting violated federal law. In response, Stumbo  sent a letter to the governor encouraging him to call a special session.

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Politics
10:00 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Beshear May Still Call Special Session for Redistricting, Tax Reform

Steve Beshear
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

Despite passing some pension and tax reforms in this year's Kentucky General Assembly session, state lawmakers aren't out of the clear when it comes to another special session.

A few big issues still remain for lawmakers—mainly redistricting and more tax reform.

Gov. Steve Beshear has the sole authority to call a special sessions and to set their agenda. And with Beshear continuing to express a need for more tax reform to pay for education, he's not ruling out calling a special session sometime this year.

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Politics
3:34 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

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

Steve Beshear
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

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.

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Politics
12:59 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Hemp, Medi-Share Bills to Become Kentucky Law

Steve Beshear
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

Governor Steve Beshear is allowing a bill regulating hemp in Kentucky to become law without his signature.

Supporters of Senate Bill 50 were concerned that the governor might veto the bill after continuing expressing concerns law enforcement had with the bill that it would allow increased marijuana growing. 

But those concerns apparently weren't enough to veto the bill, as the governor says he will let it become law.

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Politics
11:38 am
Wed April 3, 2013

For First Time, Kentucky Supreme Court Has 3 Women Justices

Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Michelle M. Keller
Credit http://courts.ky.gov

In a historic appointment, Governor Steve Beshear has named Court of Appeals Judge Michelle M. Keller of Fort Mitchell to the Kentucky Supreme Court.

The appointment increases the number of women on the state's highest court to three. It is the first time the state Supreme Court has had three female justices on the bench.

Keller replaces Justice Wil Schroder, who resigned January 17 due to health reasons.

In a statement, Keller says her appointment is bittersweet.

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Politics
12:51 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Kentucky Legislative Leaders Call 2013 Session A Success

Robert Stivers and Greg Stumbo
Credit Legislative Research Commission

Kentucky legislative leaders say they're proud of the 2013, with legislators having accomplished pension reforms, cleaned up other bills and passed others dealing with hemp, special taxing district and military voting.

Many of the legislature's top priorities were passed in the 30-day session, although most of them were hatched as last minutes deals in the waning days of the session.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo said the 2013 session may have been his proudest in more than a decade.

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Politics
8:56 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

General Assembly Overrides Gov. Steve Beshear's Veto of 'Religious Freedom' Bill

Credit File photo

In a sweeping bipartisan vote, both chambers of the General Assembly overturned Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear’s veto of the controversial religious freedom bill.

Earlier this week, the House Democratic caucus met behind closed doors to hold a secret ballot, which ultimately favored bringing the measure back to the House floor.

After a half hour of debate, the House rejected the gubernatorial veto by an overwhelming 79-15 margin.

Supporters of the legislation affirmed it does not undermine anyone’s civil rights protections, and only safeguards First Amendment rights.

"There have been attempts to take God out of everything," says state Rep. Stan Lee, R-Lexington, who supported the bill. "They want to take God out of the pledge of allegiance, can you believe that? You don't think your religious freedom is under attack? Then maybe you do believe in a boogeyman."

The law allows individuals the right to act or refuse to act on any laws or regulations that violate tenets of their faith. Opponents have rallied for weeks, arguing it could allow for residents to disregard civil rights protections such as local Fairness laws protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered citizens.

Those who lobbied for the House to override Beshear's veto denied those accusations vehemently, however.

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Politics
12:27 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Kentucky Lawmakers Likely to Override Religious Freedom Bill Veto

Greg Stumbo
Credit Kentucky Legislative Commission

The Kentucky House will vote Tuesday whether to override Gov. Steve Beshear's veto of the "religious freedom" bill.

Many House Democrats supported the bill when it first came up for a vote, though the decision to consider the veto was more contentious when taken up in a Democratic caucus meeting Monday. Speaker Greg Stumbo expects the override to go through, but he's not sure how strong the support will be.

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Politics
4:22 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

'Religious Freedom' Bill Sponsor Urges House Leaders to Override Gubernatorial Veto

State Rep. Bob Damron, D-Nicholasville

Kentucky Rep. Bob Damron, D-Nicholasville, is urging fellow Democrats in the state House to override Governor Steve Beshear's veto of the so-called 'religious freedom' bill.

The governor blocked the legislation Friday after tremendous pressure to reject the measure, which would allow residents to ignore any laws or regulations that violate tenets of their faith.

Opponents included a wide range of social justice groups, state organizations and public officials such as Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, who argued House Bill 279 was too vague and could threaten civil rights protections for racial minorities, women and LGBT residents.

Beshear says religious freedom is a cornerstone of American democracy and important to Kentuckians, but the bill’s vague language would be problematic and expensive.

"I have serious concerns that this bill will cause unintentional consequences that could threaten public safety, health care and individual civil rights. As written, the bill will undoubtedly lead to costly litigation,” he says. "I’ve heard from many organizations and governmental entities that share these same concerns. Therefore, after giving this measure thoughtful analysis and consideration, today I vetoed the bill."

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