Thursday, January 8, 2015

Beshear sets agenda for final year in office

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear used his last State of the Commonwealth address to lay out an aggressive agenda for his final year in office that includes a statewide smoking ban, requiring more children to ride in booster seats and protecting heroin users who seek help from minor drug charges.

Beshear has presided over some of the most challenging economic times in recent memory, overseeing more than $1.6 billion in state budget cuts during the economic recession. But the governor sounded a more optimistic note this year, highlighting the state's recent economic successes to set the table for the Democratic Party's nominee for governor.

With Republicans in control of the state Senate and Democrats clinging to an eight-seat majority in the House, Beshear called in prepared text for lawmakers to put aside their partisan affiliations to pass laws that would benefit the state.

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