Beshear Reflects on First Year in Office

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear’s first year at the Commonwealth’s helm is winding down. Despite the rough financial seas the state’s still weathering, the governor says he remains optimistic.

Staring Governor Beshear in the face when he took office last December was a 400-million dollar revenue shortfall. In the last year, things have gone from bad to worse and another round of budget cuts is pending. But despite all the gloom and doom, Beshear remains confident better times are ahead.

“We can all get down in the doldrums and just worry about things as they are,” says Beshear, “but part of my job is to look at things as they can be and should be and help our people get there.”

Beshear rode into office promising to bring casino gambling to Kentucky, but lawmakers balked. Beshear says he still supports some form of gaming, but it’s no longer a front-burner issue for him because its passage would have no immediate effect on the state’s current fiscal crisis. Will he seek a second term? Beshear says he hasn’t given it much thought. He says right now he’s just concentrating on the issues at hand.