Governor Steve Beshear

Mortgage Facility Expansion Planned in Owensboro

Mar 4, 2013

U.S. Bancorp officials say they're  investing $15-million to expand their Owensboro offices and  add 332 jobs.

The facility currently employs 1900 people who handle a portion of the bank's 1.6 million home mortgage loans. Owensboro Mayor Ron Payne says U.S. Bank has been a large contributor to the city’s increase in revenue over the past decades. This is the facility's third expansion since the mortgage servicing center opened in the 1970’s.

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Gov. Steve Beshear says he wants law enforcement's concerns about industrial hemp resolved before Kentucky moves ahead with a push to grow the plant.

State police oppose state Republican leaders’ effort to license and regulate hemp if the federal government ever lifts a ban on it.  Beshear says the Legislature needs to weigh law enforcement's concerns carefully, given Kentucky’s horrible drug problem.

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Students wouldn't be allowed to drop out of school before their 18th birthday under legislation that passed in the House Thursday.

Two-term Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear has been promoting the legislation for years, most recently in his annual State of the Commonwealth speech. The proposal would increase the dropout age incrementally from 16 to 18 over a period of years, giving both students and school districts time to adjust to the change.

Supporters of a statewide smoking ban brought high-profile help from the world of sports while rallying Thursday in the Capitol Rotunda  for their cause.

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Gov. Steve Beshear says disagreement among gambling advocates has made it unlikely that the Legislature can pass a constitutional amendment on casinos this year. Beshear says Kentucky's horse racing industry is divided on how to proceed, which has weakened the chances of passing an amendment.

Despite a long history of wagering on horses, Kentucky has a constitutional ban on casino-style gambling. And many lawmakers have been reluctant to vote to change that, knowing they may face disapproving constituents in future elections.

Antoine Taveneaux, Wikimedia Commons

The clock is ticking on the current legislative session, but efforts to push expanded gambling in the 2013  are still on-going, Gov. Steve Beshear said.

“I think it’s too early to reach a conclusion yet on whether we will have a bill on expanded gaming, you know we’ve got some issues to be resolved," he said.

Beshear is facing a recurring problems since he took office in 2007 and began lobbying for expanded gambling. The  state senate won’t pass any gambling amendment that gives a monopoly to horse racing tracks, but some tracks don’t want gambling if they aren’t promised protections.

Proponents of a local option sales tax have gained big ally in their legislative fight: Gov. Steve Beshear. The local option sales tax would allow cities to levy an additional tax on top of the state’s current six percent sales tax for specific projects, if local voters approved the new tax.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray are the chief advocates pushing the idea, arguing their cities would use the extra revenue for infrastructure projects.

Kentucky legislative leaders say they haven't responded yet to Gov. Steve Beshear’s request to delay General Assembly redistricting in the 2013 session.

Senate President Robert Stivers says his leadership team has not yet decided on a response and that many in his chamber are conflicted on when to address redistricting.


After years of pushing to legalize casino-style gambling in Kentucky, Gov. Steve Beshear sounds less than optimistic just days before the start of the next legislative session. Beshear has been hopeful that the retirement of Senate President David Williams, the Republican who was seen as the main roadblock to legalizing casinos, would improve the chances to legalize gambling. Williams resigned late last year when Beshear appointed him as a circuit judge in southern Kentucky.  However, his departure doesn't appear to have significantly improved the odds of passing a gambling amendment in the Bible Belt state. 


Despite progress toward building a state-run health insurance exchange in Kentucky, Governor Steve Beshear will likely have to re-issue an executive order to keep it alive. Beshear issued an order creating the exchange earlier this year, after the Supreme Court ruled the Affordable Care Act was constitutional. And it’s a goal of state health officials to get the exchange protected under a law, rather than an executive order. Republican State Senator Tom Buford says his colleagues aren’t likely to support an exchange law.