Gov. Andy Beshear gives State of the Commonwealth address; talks 2023 proposals

Beshear delivers annual State of the Commonwealth Address
Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 5:48 PM CST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WBKO) - Gov. Andy Beshear is giving his State of the Commonwealth address.

Watch here:

Beshear opened the address by talking about long-term rebuilding in the state, after the multiple environmental disasters that occurred in 2021 and 2022.

“Unquestionably it will be one of the most difficult rebuilds our nation has ever seen,” Beshear said. “Our mission is to move our families out of the flood plain and out of harm’s way. But doing so gives us a chance to reimagine our communities, to go beyond just rebuilding.”

The Governor also took the time to highlight the economic growth of the commonwealth over the past few years, citing several new infrastructure changes, and the subsequent job influx.

“With the books closed on 2022, I can announce we’ve now secured the best two-year period for economic growth in state history,” Beshear said.

During the address, Beshear revealed his 2023 legislative proposals. The first bill of which would make his Education First Plan law; providing a 5% raise for educators, and fully funding universal pre-K amongst other changes.

“Passage of this bill is both vital, and it’s necessary to address Kentucky’s shortage of nearly 11,000 public school teachers,” Beshear said.

The proposal also included asking for legislation to legalize medicinal cannabis, following Beshear’s executive order from November, which allows Kentuckians who meet specific requirements to possess and use small amounts of legally purchased medicinal cannabis.

“Far too many Kentuckians are suffering from life-threatening and chronic conditions like our veterans with PTSD or Kentuckians with cancer,” Beshear said.

Throughout the entire speech, Beshear placed a strong emphasis on lawmakers practicing bipartisanship for the good of the commonwealth.

“If we stopped trying to move to the right or the left, and instead just choose to move forward, we will turn these two amazing years of historic progress into decades of lasting prosperity,” Beshear said.

During the address, Beshear also asked lawmakers to legalize sports betting, proposed a raise for all state workers, and asked the General Assembly to stand with him as he continues to implement reforms in the juvenile justice system.