FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP/WTVQ) – Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear reaffirmed his support for bi-partisanship and unity in his first State of the Commonwealth speech to the Republican-dominated legislature.
The state’s new Democratic governor told lawmakers on Tuesday evening that the budget he submits later this month will include his campaign pledge for a $2,000 across-the-board pay raise for teachers.
Speaking to a statewide television audience, Beshear also promised to support fully funding the state’s public pension obligations.
He also called for lawmakers to ensure that no one can lose health care coverage because of a pre-existing condition.
Other promises for his administration included: criminal justice reform, better wages, opioid epidemic, lowering insulin prices, access to clean water and internet access.
Republican leaders Rep. David Osborne, R-Prospect and Senator Robert Stivers, R-Manchester were quick to call the governor on his “Mr. Nice Guy” mentality.
“The only thing he didn’t propose was puppies and we might as well go ahead and throw those in, because again, it is great to throw out wonderful proposals and ideas, but at some point in time we have to face the reality of how we’re going to manage those and how we’re going to actually to fund them,” Rep. Osborne said.
Meanwhile, Senate minority leader Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville, said it’s about time for a Governor willing to work across party lines, giving Beshear’s speech a 10 out of 10.