Gov. Beshear Pushes Gaming and Tax Reform to Help Education

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WBKO) -- Governor Steve Beshear delivered his seventh state of the Commonwealth address Tuesday night, and funding Kentucky schools is one of Gov. Beshear's top priorities for 2014, regardless the cost.

"I am determined to find money to reinvest in education, even if I have to make harmful cuts in other areas to do so," said Gov. Steve Beshear, D-Kentucky.

The Governor said teachers need to be paid more and students needed better tools to learn.

"We cannot continue making progress by ignoring needs like text books and technology," said Beshear.

How does Governor Beshear plan to help pay for this?

He said there are two major sources of revenue available: tax reform and expanded gaming.

"A more competitive tax structure will, as the economy grows, also stabilize long term revenue, not because of higher rates, but because it's aligned with today's economy," said Beshear about tax reform.

"Allowing gaming is a way to keep Kentucky tax revenue at home, instead of letting Kentuckians entertainment dollars fund roads and schools in places like Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia and other states," said Beshear.

Beshear told members of the General Assembly it's time to let Kentuckians decide if they want gambling or not.

"I realize there are many arguments for and against gaming, but there is no reason to deny the people of Kentucky an opportunity to vote up or down on this issue," said Beshear.

However historically, the gaming issue fails before it can make it to the people.

Also on Tuesday, the governor said he will support a statewide smoking ban.

And he said there needs to be a stronger force against heroin and stronger treatment programs.

Lawmakers also began their 2014 regular session Tuesday.

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