Governor Steve Beshear is requesting a federal disaster declaration for parts of eastern and northern Kentucky hit by tornadoes last week.

The declaration would allow federal money to help with clean up and rebuilding. It will also help provide funds to affected businesses.

Beshear announced the move at a news conference today, saying that while monetary estimates of damages aren't yet known, he's confident the there's enough damage to meet the $5.8 million federal threshold for assistance.

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Governor Steve Beshear says he won’t back down on efforts to bring casino gambling to Kentucky, despite another defeat on the issue last week.

Since his first term as governor in 2007, Beshear has made expanding gambling his main priority. This year, he attempted to pass a constitutional amendment dealing with the issue through the state Senate. The bill fell seven votes short of passage in a vote that critics say should be the end of the issue. But Beshear says the vote gave more resolve to the business leaders and horse racing interests who back the idea.

Several healthcare groups have come together in a public-private partnership to fight cancer in Kentucky.

The newly-formed Kentucky Cancer Foundation is part of a two-million-dollar initiative to help uninsured Kentuckians get cancer screenings.

In his proposed two year budget, Governor Steve Beshear earmarked half a million dollars each year for colon cancer screenings. He also proposed raising another million from a public-private partnership.

At a news conference to announce the partnership, Beshear conceded that two million dollars won’t go very far.

The President of Kentucky Downs Racetrack says the expanded gambling issue isn’t going to go away, even after the state Senate rejected a constitutional amendment on the subject last week.  Corey Johnson also chairs the Kentucky Equine Education Project. He says gambling revenues in other states continue to lure breeders away from the Commonwealth.

‘It takes human beings to take care of horses so when the horse leave, the jobs go away so it is a very, very..we have hundreds of stallions who have left the state.”

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear is seeking federal highway funds through a disaster declaration to aid in restoring traffic across Kentucky Lake in Marshall County. The declaration allows the Kentucky Transportation cabinet to seek federal funds.  KYTC public affairs officer Chuck Wolfe says the state won’t wait on emergency funds to continue work to restore traffic.

Prayer Breakfast Challenge

Feb 24, 2012

The Freedom from Religion Foundation wants Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear to cancel an upcoming prayer breakfast in Frankfort, claiming it constitutes an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. Group co-founder Annie Laurie Gaylor sent Beshear a letter yesterday telling him she considers the annual event set for March 6 to be, in her words, unnecessary, divisive and not within the power of civil government. The breakfast is a longstanding tradition in Kentucky. Beshear has hosted a prayer breakfast every year since taking office in 2007.

Governor Steve Beshear’s expanded gambling amendment has failed in the state Senate.

The measure would have allowed for a public vote on whether to legalize casinos in the state. It fell seven votes short of the 23 it needed to move to the House. The shortfall was due largely to fractures in the Democratic caucus.

The bill’s primary sponsor, Republican Senator Damon Thayer, says he’s finished with the issue after nine years of working on it.

Beshear Pushes for Preschool Funding

Feb 16, 2012

Governor Steve Beshear is urging state lawmakers to approve a budget proposal that would raise the income eligibility level for public preschool to 160 percent of the federal poverty rate. Preschool in Kentucky is currently offered to 4-year-olds whose family income is 150 percent of the federal poverty level or less. Children with developmental delays or disabilities are also eligible. Beshear says more kids need to get an early start in school:

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says state officials are aggressively searching for options to accommodate traffic at the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge.  The Governor says he expects inspection reports to be ready within the next couple of weeks to help clearly layout a timeline for whichever options are deemed best. He says though, at this point, it looks like one of the quickest options may be establishing a ferry service at the site:

From the office of the Governor:

Gov. Steve Beshear today took a firsthand look at the damaged Eggners Ferry Bridge and said getting traffic restored across Kentucky Lake is among his highest priorities.

“We are keenly aware of the inconvenience for travelers and the economic hardship that has been created for many business owners because of the sudden loss of this route across Kentucky Lake,” Gov. Beshear said. “Our engineers are working non-stop on plans to get traffic safely restored.”