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Beshear urges us to put politics aside and usher in a new era of prosperity during the Commonwealth Period

In his federal state address Wednesday, Gov. Andy Beshear said the Commonwealth is strong and the future bright by presenting an opportunity to turn two years of historic progress into decades of lasting prosperity in 2023. rice field.

“2023 presents a unique opportunity for the state and this legislative session to change everything for the better,” said Gov. Beshear. “Be the generation that will put aside partisanship and usher Kentucky into a new era of prosperity.”

Through his speech, he highlighted the challenges posed by pandemics, natural disasters, and rebuilding communities, as well as Kentucky’s greatest two years of economic development and job creation, record budget surplus, longest run, and other great successes. was aware of Lowest unemployment rate in state history.

“The Psalm says, ‘Crying may stay in the night, but in the morning comes joy.’ It means you don’t have to leave this state to pursue a tomorrow where people will move into our country instead of leaving it.It’s where people and businesses choose Kentucky.” said Governor Beshear. “The promise of this better future has never been brighter as our Commonwealth emerged from the pandemic as the leader of the national economy. we are winning.”

Governor Beshear has secured sufficient federal grants to build the Brent Spence Companion Bridge with no tolls, strengthen public safety and workforces, and expand access to healthcare, among other mega-infrastructure projects. We talked about other administrative advances.

Gov. Andy Beshear speaking at the federal state address on Thursday (screenshot from KET)

The governor also unveiled the 2023 legislative proposal and is working with his state representative, Frankfort’s Derrick Graham, to pass legislation now that will further support economic growth and invigorate Kentuckians for future generations. He said he had submitted it to Congress.

The first bill will be his Education First Plan Act. The plan would provide a public school educator with a 5% pay raise to help him fill 11,000 teacher vacancies and fully fund universal pre-K. The plan also provides mental health services to students and student loan forgiveness for public school teachers.

“Let’s make Kentucky a shining example of how we treat educators and our public school system,” said Gov. Beshear.

legalize medical cannabis

The governor also announced that Kentuckians with certain serious medical conditions who meet certain requirements, pursuant to an executive order permitting the possession and use of small amounts of legally purchased medical marijuana, will eventually become medical marijuana. I am asking lawmakers to pass a law to legalize

In his speech, the governor recognized Chasity Harney, a mother and wife from Kenton County who was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in 2019 at the age of 40. The governor commended her efforts to advocate a cure for herself and others who are suffering from her.

The governor also called on lawmakers to finally pass a law legalizing sports betting.

To further support our workforce, the governor is proposing pay increases for all state workers, following last year’s pledges by the governor and legislators. The governor also thanked retirees in the state’s Employee Retirement Plan by introducing a bill that he said would raise pension payments to retirees by 1.5 percent.

“Ten years after the last hike, inflation has hit retirees hard,” Beshear said.

Our record surplus prompted the governor to further strengthen the state’s employee retirement program with a $100 million investment and an additional $100 million to pay off the teacher retirement plan’s unfunded debt. I am proposing to

To further build a safer Union, Governor Beshear is currently implementing the most significant reforms to Kentucky’s juvenile justice system in 20 years. To strengthen these efforts and better protect both workers and youth at these facilities, the Governor asks the General Assembly to fund salary increases, facility upgrades, and necessary changes to state law. I am calling you.

Politics aside, values ​​lead

“If we double down now. We will lead our values ​​and put politics aside. There is nothing we cannot achieve. Our future has never been brighter,” said Gov. Beshear. said.

Through his speech, the governor highlighted the successes and challenges of 2022 and the stories of Kentuckians he invited to attend.

As he spoke about his continued efforts to help rebuild families and communities after last year’s deadly tornadoes and floods, the governor called Kentucky Police Department rescue helicopter pilots Capt. Brad Austin and Sgt. Thank you to the first responders including and those who represent them. Zach Lusk, Kentucky National Guard Sergeant. First Class Jeremy Lowe and Technical Sergeant. Cole Kaiser, Lieutenant Robbie Spears and Conservation Officer Bobby Owens at the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Together, these teams rescued more than 1,300 Kentuckians. Battalion Commander Adam Sorrell and Captain Ryan Hogsten of the Lexington Fire Department were also present to represent members of Swift’s Water Rescue Squad who risked their lives to rescue 130 Kentuckians.

The governor acknowledged that Jenny Wiley State Resort Park Manager Trinity Shepherd and state park employees helped others evacuate after parts of their homes were severely affected by the flooding.

Governor Beshear also showed what it means to truly live our values ​​throughout Kentucky by donating land for the construction of the first of several upland communities in eastern Kentucky, Sean. admitted Tammy Adams. The governor also thanked Britney for hosting a pre-Christmas toy drive for children in eastern Kentucky, similar to what she did for children in western Kentucky after the December 2021 tornado. I thanked her Mrs Beshear.

“We want the people of Eastern Kentucky to know that we love you, care for you, and are there for you — every step of the way, for as long as you need it,” Gov. Beshear said. “We know there is still much work left to do for those in the tornado-affected West. We remain committed and look forward to celebrating each milestone with you. looking forward to it.”

The governor gave an update on Carla McKnight, who has been watching from her home in western Kentucky. Months after losing her brother in a car accident last year, Karla’s home was hit by a tornado. Governor Beshear reports that her family is in a new home, and Kara was even able to design her own room.

The Governor also commended Envision AESC’s Director of Operations in Bowling Green, Justice Dingle, and Blue Oval SK’s Chief Financial Officer, Jim Cluny, on Kentucky’s strong position as a center for electric vehicle battery production. Thank you for your investment in our state that helped establish the usa.

Speaking about expanding access to health care, Gov. Beshear thanked Dr. Kelly McCants of Norton Health Care for leading immunization efforts in Louisville’s West End during the pandemic and making it accessible to all families. Did.

In his speech, the governor called on Kentuckians to never forget law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty.

“Let us always remember their sacrifice and continue to support these families,” said Gov. Beshear. “Dear our law enforcement agencies, we love you, we support you, we need you.”

Governor’s Office

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