FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Kentucky is doing well. That was the point Governor Andy Beshear quickly made in his State of the Commonwealth address on Wednesday evening.
“I am here to report that the state of the Commonwealth is strong," said Beshear.
"It is strong because we are strong," he added.
Beshear's speech struck an optimistic tone as he expressed hope for the future.
"We shattered every economic development record in the books," said Beshear. "We attracted a record $11.2 billion in private-sector investments. Even better, these investments will create more than 18,000 quality jobs for Kentucky families."
However, Beshear also addressed the tough times of 2021.
"In many ways, this address feels both the toughest and the most exciting," said Beshear. "We come into this New Year with excitement and optimism, with an economy booming like never before. At the same time, we are all processing grief and sadness after a year of unprecedented natural disasters and a continuing pandemic."
"While they may knock us down, no tornado, no pandemic, no flood, no ice storm can break us. Because we do not break," added Beshear.
The governor urged unity with the Republicans who control the legislature. He said he is working with House and Senate leaders to “fast-track legislation to help our impacted families” in the Western Kentucky areas devastated by tornadoes. The bill would send $150 million for community rebuilding and $50 million for school recovery.
"I know we can agree to work together to rebuild and recover. I know we can take the bold actions needed to move us forward," said Beshear. "If we choose to act wisely, maybe if we choose to act kindly, then we can look back decades from now and see that it was this moment, right here, that made all the difference."
The governor will return to the legislature on January 13th to propose his two-year, roughly $28 billion, state budget proposal.