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'We are good people, tough people': Gov. Beshear delivers annual Kentucky address

Beshear said this is his toughest State of the Commonwealth Address, yet also the most exciting.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — In his State of the Commonwealth Address, Gov. Andy Beshear praised Kentuckians for being tough, resilient people.

Beshear said this is his toughest address to the state, yet also the most exciting.

Beshear started his speech on the destructive weather both at the beginning of last year and last month.

“In Kentucky, we are good people, tough people, resilient people. We care deeply for one another. And while they may knock us down, no tornado, no pandemic, no flood, no ice storm can break us. Because we do not break,” he said.

Beshear said while Jan. 5 had a record number of positive cases again, last year prepared Kentucky to beat the pandemic and beat this virus. "I believe we can and will beat COVID," he said.

Multiple agencies are investing in Kentucky and record economic growth happened last year. Beshear said $11.2 billion in private sector investments were made last year.

The largest investment last year is also the largest investment in Kentucky history. Ford and SK Innovation partnered together to create "the nation's largest electric vehicle battery plants in Kentucky."

"After this year, I'm convinced that our role in government is not to move our state right or left. It's to move it forward," he said.

Beshear said the budget plan "will make historic investments in education" and essential workers.

Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said he’s in favor of some sort of pay increase for state workers to attract more people to the industry, but would like it rolled out in a way that takes cost of living in different parts of the state into account.

“I think we’re going to have to be competitive with the private sector,” Stivers said. “That’s the reality. Now how you do it and the logistics of it become the bigger question.”

House Speaker David Osborne, R-Prospect, said there wasn’t anything missing from the governor’s speech that he was hoping to hear, but said it’s easy to talk about making change publicly. He said he would rather have more candid, one-on-one conversations with the governor about policy.

Watch the livestream here:

   

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