Andy Beshear

U.S. Air Force photo illustration

In his inaugural address Tuesday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear addressed two of the core issues he campaigned on: health care insurance and the cost of drugs.

“These are our brothers and our sisters; after the expansion, these neighbors could go see a doctor without the fear of bankruptcy. And the expansion ensured that almost all of Kentucky’s children had access to health care,” Beshear said. “I will honor and strengthen our commitment to these families.”

Beshear’s father, former Gov. Steve Beshear, expanded Medicaid in 2014 to adults without children and to people making up to 138 percent of the poverty limit, or about 400,000 people.

Screenshot from KET

On a frigid December day in the capital of Frankfort, Democrat Andy Beshear took the oath of office and announced he was on the verge of fulfilling several key campaign promises.

One of Beshear’s first acts in office was to overhaul and appoint new members to the State Board of Education, swiftly replacing the 11 appointed by his predecessor, Republican Matt Bevin, who had a tense relationship with the state’s educators.

“These members were not chosen based on any partisan affiliation, but based on their commitment to make our schools better. To put our children first,” Beshear said in his inaugural address on Tuesday.

Andy Beshear Sworn In as Kentucky’s 63rd Governor

22 hours ago
Jacob Ryan

Kentucky has a new governor.

Calling on the state to set a national example of casting aside political divisions, Democrat Andy Beshear was sworn in just after midnight Tuesday in the Governor’s Mansion. Beshear defeated Republican Matt Bevin in a close election last month; after a recanvass of the vote totals revealed only one additional vote, Bevin conceded.

Bevin received a long ovation on Monday from administration employees who lined a Capitol hallway as the outgoing governor walked to his office. They all gathered in the Rotunda, where Bevin said they had set a new standard for how government should operate in his single term.

At the start of President Trump's term, Republicans had solidified control in Washington and their hold on state governments across the country, with 33 GOP governors in power. Democrats were at their lowest numbers in nearly a century — down to just 16 Democratic governors and having control of only 13 state legislatures.

Ryland Barton

A Democratic state lawmaker from Warren County will have an insider’s view when Governor-Elect Andy Beshear takes the oath of office in a private ceremony early Tuesday morning.   

Representative Patti Minter will attend the formal swearing-in at 12:01 a.m.  A public swearing-in ceremony will take place on the Capitol steps Tuesday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. 

Minter is one of the co-chairs of the inaugural committee and says all the festivities will emphasize unity.

J. Tyler Franklin

Andy Beshear will be sworn in as Kentucky’s 63rd governor on Tuesday, five weeks after he defeated incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin by a little more than 5,000 votes.

Beshear’s Inauguration Day will be full of traditional pomp and circumstance that has developed since Kentucky’s first governor Isaac Shelby took office in 1792. And most of the festivities will be open to the public — a departure from some previous inaugurations.

Bevin will leave office at midnight on December 10th and Beshear will be officially sworn in during a private ceremony at 12:01 a.m. at the Governor’s Mansion.

Becca Schimmel

If Gov.-elect Andy Beshear fulfills his campaign promise to replace the members of the Kentucky Board of Education, he would be the first governor to do so since lawmakers tried to insulate the board from political pressures in 1990 as part of the Kentucky Education Reform Act.

Beshear, a Democrat, has said he would overhaul the Board of Education by executive order “on day one,” a rallying point for many educators who disagreed with priorities of the current 11-member board appointed by Republican Gov. Matt Bevin.

Beshear has also said he hopes that the board would replace its only employee, Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis, who was hired shortly after Bevin’s appointees took control of the board in 2018.

J. Tyler Franklin

Outgoing Gov. Matt Bevin claimed he lost his reelection because Democrats “harvested votes in urban areas.”

Gov.-elect Andy Beshear named some of his cabinet secretaries. And education commissioner Wayne Lewis defended himself as his job might be in jeopardy in the new administration.

Jonese Franklin from member station WFPL talked to Capitol reporter Ryland Barton for this week’s edition of Kentucky Politics Distilled.


J. Tyler Franklin

A memo from the outgoing administration of Governor says Governor-elect Andy Beshear faces a massive budget shortfall as he prepares to take office. 

The note from Bevin's budget director estimates the shortfall could exceed $1 billion over the next two years.The legislature will deal with rising costs and a host of competing demands for funding, including pensions, corrections, Medicaid, and employee health benefits.

 

The memo was sent to Beshear's transition team and state lawmakers. Beshear takes office next Tuesday and will submit a two-year spending plan to the legislature early next year.

Kyeland Jackson

During a series of interviews on talk radio shows Wednesday morning, outgoing Republican Gov. Matt Bevin said that he lost his race for reelection because the Democratic Party “harvested votes in urban communities.”

Bevin lost to Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear last month by a little more than 5,000 votes.

During an interview on 55KRC in Cincinnati, Bevin said that the election was a “surprise” that defies logic.

 


Becca Schimmel

With a little more than a week until his inauguration, on Monday Gov.-elect Andy Beshear appointed five more officials to help run his incoming administration.

Beshear announced two of his eleven cabinet secretaries on Monday: former Lexington Mayor Jim Gray will serve as Transportation Cabinet secretary and Lt. Gov.-elect Jacqueline Coleman will be the next secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Beshear said that his picks would help set a “constructive and collaborative tone” in Frankfort as Kentucky returns to divided government.

 


Ryland Barton

Calling it “a time for all Kentuckians to come together on one team,” Gov.-elect Andy Beshear announced details of his December 10 inauguration.

Inauguration Day festivities are open to the public and include a breakfast, parade, swearing-in ceremony and two inaugural balls that last until midnight.

The governor-elect and first lady Britainy Beshear announced the events during a news conference at the state capitol on Tuesday.


Thinkstock

This week in Kentucky politics, Gov. Matt Bevin said he’s going to return to the private sector after losing his race for reelection.

Gov.-elect Andy Beshear named the first appointees of his administration. And incoming Secretary of State Michael Adams says he wants to clean Kentucky’s voter rolls and get a voter ID bill passed before next year’s elections.


J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky Gov.-elect Andy Beshear’s transition team will help craft his administration, and he’s stacked it with well-connected bureaucrats, legislators and longtime supporters of the Beshear family’s political campaigns.

Transition team members donated at least $358,000 to Beshear since his run for attorney general in 2015, according to state campaign finance records. About 80 percent of the 163 team members have donated to Beshear, either in this race against incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin or his 2015 campaign. At least 16 currently work for Andy Beshear as employees of the Office of the Attorney General.

Ryland Barton

For the past four years, Kentucky officials have been trying to institute a policy requiring some Medicaid recipients work or do community service to keep their health coverage. It’s been a pillar of Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s policy priorities, but with Bevin soon leaving office and Democratic Governor-Elect Andy Beshear opposed to the requirement, it would be up to the legislature to continue that effort. 

However, it appears there’s little appetite among Republican legislators who would have to lead that legislative fight. 

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