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Gov. Beshear: Help Kentuckians now, make investments in future
Governor calls for changes in expanded gaming amendment, a balanced and strategic budget, addressing prescription drug abuse, strengthening tomorrow's workforce through education, encouraging private economic investment, more protection for Kentucky's Children, and better support for military families
BY Kerri Richardson and Terry Sebastian
News from Gov. Steve Beshear's Communications Office
FRANKFORT, KY - In his fifth State of the Commonwealth address, Governor Steve Beshear laid out a robust and expansive legislative agenda and challenged lawmakers to avoid partisanship and work together in order to improve Kentuckians' lives.
"Kentucky continues to suffer from the lingering effects of the global recession, but short-term survival cannot be our only goal," said Gov. Beshear. "This is no time to rest, to be complacent, to hide or to be timid. Rather, it is time to be decisive and aggressive."
The Governor warned that the upcoming budget would be the most difficult of his administration, and that his upcoming budget proposal would include significant cuts, even in previously protected areas. He warned, however, that a difficult budget should not be used as an excuse to remain complacent, and that it is possible to make changes for the short term and long term benefit of Kentuckians.
"Tonight I will lay out for you some bold steps we can take to continue - in a collective and strategic way - to address the fundamental weaknesses that have hampered our state for generations," said Gov. Beshear.
Invest in Kentucky's future through expanded gaming, tax reform
Although the Governor announced that his budget proposal would not include revenue from gaming, he urged lawmakers to pass a constitutional amendment that would allow Kentuckians to vote on expanded gaming in November.Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent in neighboring states' casinos, funding their schools and roads and hiring police officers and teachers. That money belongs in Kentucky, Gov. Beshear said, and should be funding the services Kentuckians need. In addition, Gov. Beshear noted that two recent polls show that more than 80 percent of Kentuckians want the opportunity to vote on this issue.
A more balanced tax code will not only create a more welcoming business environment, Gov. Beshear said, but will also allow the state to invest in the services and priorities that best position our citizens for success. In the coming days, the Governor will unveil a process to thoughtfully and deeply review our tax system. Tax reform must realign the system in a way that is not only fairer for families and businesses, but also improves the state's ability to compete in the 21st century economy.
While neither of these proposals will have immediate financial impact, together they lay the foundation for increased revenue that will support key services like education and job creation efforts in the years to come.
Gov. Beshear offered a wide-ranging legislative agenda, designed to improve the state's economy, fight prescription drug abuse and better prepare Kentucky's workforce. These initiatives consider not only the present-day needs of Kentuckians, but also make key improvements that will benefit citizens in the future.
This story was posted on 2012-01-05 08:19:35
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