State of the Commonwealth Address

Ryland Barton

It was a busy week in Frankfort with Gov. Matt Bevin’s State of the Commonwealth address, new developments on an election contest for a statehouse seat and protesters from the Poor People’s Campaign finally getting a meeting with the governor.

Listen to this week’s episode of Kentucky Politics Distilled here:

 

Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons

Gov. Matt Bevin spent much of his fourth State of the Commonwealth Address praising the Republican-led legislature for passing measures like so-called “right-to-work” legislation, anti-abortion policies and attempting to make changes to state worker pension benefits.

The appreciative tone comes a little more than a month after Bevin chided the General Assembly — which has more than three-fifths majority in each chamber — for quickly ending a specially-called legislative session without passing an overhaul of the pension systems.

J. Tyler Franklin / WFPL

Join WKMS Wednesday for live KET coverage of Governor Matt Bevin’s State of the Commonwealth Address. Bevin addresses a joint session of the House and Senate. 

Jacob Ryan-WFPL/Kentucky Public Radio

Governor Matt Bevin’s first state budget proposal recommends that that the state cut spending by 9 percent in the next two fiscal years, which could mean reduced programs and layoffs. Bevin wants to make cuts in the current fiscal year to the tune of 4.5 percent. He says individual cabinet secretaries will be in charge of how to trim down expenses.

J. Tyler Franklin / WFPL

Gov. Matt Bevin has proposed 9 percent cuts to most state government agencies over the next two years in an effort to reduce state spending by $650 million. 

J. Tyler Franklin / WFPL

Join WKMS Tuesday evening for live coverage of Governor Matt Bevin's State of the Commonwealth/Budget Address. This address begins at 6 p.m. (Central Time). We thank KET for making this broadcast possible.

FRANKFORT — In his final State of the Commonwealth address, Gov. Steve Beshear celebrated many of his major policy accomplishments during his tenure and called on lawmakers to continue moving the 2015 session toward job-creation initiatives.

The over-riding theme of Wednesday evening’s address was Beshear’s advocacy for workforce development in Kentucky, and the four ways he says he’s strengthened it: early childhood development, education reform, affordable healthcare, and low taxes.

www.lrc.ky.gov

Gov. Steve Beshear's State of the Commonwealth address focused on reinvesting in education and tax reform in addition to praising Kentucky's state health exchange, kynect. Below are responses to that address from both Republican and Democratic legislators who responded to calls.

REPUBLICANS

Rep. Myron Dossett took issue with Beshear's praise of kynect, saying the state health exchange had added many people to Medicaid rolls that the commonwealth is already struggling to pay. He is also concerned with expanding gambling.

Dossett was pleased to hear discussion about tax reform, but he wants a straight sales tax that would eliminate the state income tax.