Beshear Prepares State Of The Commonwealth Address

by Tony McVeigh on February 1, 2011

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear delivers his annual State of the Commonwealth address Tuesday to a joint session of the legislature.

The governor’s office is keeping mum on the contents of the speech, but two issues in particular are likely to surface.

This year’s Medicaid budget is facing a huge deficit and Beshear wants lawmakers to move $166 million from the second year of the budget to the current year to cover it.

Beshear says if the second year comes up short, savings from managed care will take care of that.

The plan has House Democratic support, but Senate Republicans are skeptical, so look for the governor to make a new pitch for his proposal tonight.

Beshear also wants to raise the state’s dropout age from 16 to 18 – a proposal that cleared the House last year, only to die in the Senate.

Beshear likely will use tonight’s speech to push passage of similar legislation strongly supported by First Lady Jane Beshear.

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