FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Gov. Steve Beshear said he will seek
legislation authorizing an "In God We Trust" auto license plate when lawmakers return to Frankfort early next year.
Beshear wants Kentucky drivers to be able to choose the license
plate as an alternative to the current "Unbridled Spirit" plate the state issues.
Both plates would cost the same.
"'In God We Trust' is essentially our national motto," Beshear told The Courier-Journal. "And that national motto belongs to every American and indeed every Kentuckian. In my opinion nobody should have to pay extra to have that national motto reflected on their license plate."
Beshear's transportation secretary, Joe Prather, sent a letter on Monday asking the chairmen of the House and Senate transportation committees to pass legislation creating the new license plates next year.
Rep. Jim Gooch sponsored similar legislation earlier this year. It passed the House unanimously, but failed in the Senate.
Beshear is scheduled to begin a series of town hall meetings on
Thursday. Spokesman Dick Brown said the meetings will allow the
governor to listen to the concerns of Kentuckians and to talk to them about his goals for the state.
"Certainly, it doesn't hurt for people to see him without the filter of the media, so that they can judge for themselves the kind of job he's doing, the kind of governor he is," Brown said.
Beshear had gotten off to a rocky start with state lawmakers, who rejected his top legislative priority - a proposed constitutional amendment to allow casinos to open in the state.
Republican Party of Kentucky Chairman Steve Robertson questioned
Beshear's motivation for proposing the license plate.
"Quite frankly, for him to come out with an issue like this as he begins a statewide image tour just smacks of politics," Robertson said.
Robertson said Beshear's call for such legislation would have
appeared more sincere if he had gotten behind the earlier proposal.
Indiana lawmakers approved an "In God We Trust" license plate in 2006. More than 1.6 million motorists in that state have gotten them since they became available in January 2007.
Information from: The Courier-Journal,
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)