Gov. Bevin calls time in office 'unprecedented'
Governor Matt Bevin held a news conference on Thursday to talk about his administration's accomplishments in 2017. He spoke for about 45 minutes at the State Capitol
One of the biggest issues Governor Bevin tackled this year was the state's ailing pension system. In October, he unveiled his "Keeping the Promise" Plan to save the system. The governor had hoped to call a special session to make the plan law by year's end but opposition and a sexual harassment scandal in Frankfort derailed the proposal. Earlier this month, 50 Republican House members signed a letter to the governor asking him not to call the session. They said they are confident a solution can be found but they need more time. During Thursday's news conference, Governor Bevin agreed, saying he doesn't see how it's possible to have a special session this year.
Governor Bevin took time to address his ongoing feud with his Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear. Beshear has filed lawsuits against the governor's actions at least four times. Governor Bevin called Beshear "one of the most incompetent attorneys" in the state and said, "it's a shame he's attorney general." The governor also said he doesn't take anything Beshear does seriously.
Beshear responded in a post on Facebook saying "All I have ever asked is that the governor follow the law. Given we are four days from Christmas, I had hoped the governor could rise above name calling and personal attacks."
Governor Bevin listed Kentucky becoming a right-to-work state, a record 8.9 billion dollars in economic development, charter school legislation, measures designed to limit abortions and helping felons re-enter the workforce as top accomplishments of 2017. The governor also touted Kentucky becoming the first state to implement a three day limit for certain prescription narcotics and securing money to combat the state's opioid epidemic.
"These are the kinds of things that are going to have a profound impact. We've worked with the federal government and gotten more than $10 million even just recently to help fight this epidemic and we have budgeted money and are likely to do it again to right this epidemic," said Governor Bevin.
He said he's proud of the way his administration has handled being in office so far.
"There has never been an administration ever ever in the history of Kentucky that has been as fiscally prudent or thoughtful or forward looking as this administration. Never," said Governor Bevin.
Kentucky's regular legislative session begins January 2. Another major issue lawmakers will have to tackle is the state budget. The governor said he predicts tough talks during that process.
Governor Bevin says he also wants to work on tax reform and hopes to continue his push to make it easier for Kentucky's foster children to find good homes.