“We’re going to continue to work for the next four years to try to get a job for every Kentuckian that needs a job,” Beshear said. “Coming out of this recession, we’ve still got way too many people out of work, and we’re just going to keep working night and day to get all of our people back to work.”
The governor said it’s also important to keep improving the state’s education system so that Kentuckians have the necessary skills to join the workforce. One of the ways he wants to do that is to increase the drop-out age from 16 to 18 years old.
Beshear also talked about the importance of bringing more companies to Kentucky and keeping the ones that are already here, stating that they revised their economic incentive packages two years ago. He said he’s personally talked to the heads of some companies to convince them to stay in the state.
Beshear said that while Kentucky might not be much better off now than it was when he assumed office in December 2007, the economy has taken its toll on Kentucky, the country and the world as a whole, although he added that the state’s unemployment rate is dropping.
He also stated that the state is certainly better off than when the recession first hit, calling it “the worst recession of our lifetimes.”
“We’ve been through a pretty rough time with this recession that we’ve all worked through, and everybody’s struggled to get through it,” Beshear said. “I think people feel good about how we’ve tried to help the state come through this. We’ve worked hard to keep our families’ heads above water, and we’ve made some tough decisions.”
Kentucky will come out of the recession in better shape than most other states because of those tough decisions, said Beshear, who hails from Dawson Springs in Hopkins County.
“We’re going to continue to be fiscally responsible and frugal with the taxpayers’ money. You know, we’ve done that the past four years because of this recession, but we’re going to keep doing that even when we’re out of this recession, because we need to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ money,” said Beshear.
The governor also defended giving tax breaks to the proposed Noah’s Ark theme park project in northern Kentucky, and he claimed it could create almost 1,000 jobs in that area.
Meanwhile, one of his opponents, current Senate President David Williams, was on hand at the Ham Festival on Saturday afternoon, along with Secretary of State candidate Bill Johnson, State Treasurer candidate K.C. Crosbie and State Auditor candidate John Kemper.
Williams said that if he is elected governor, one of his first priorities after a few days of rest will be to work on his jobs plan. He said his jobs plan and tax code reform will help Kentucky counties, like Trigg County, that border neighboring states that have no state income tax, like Tennessee.
“A governor’s year is their strongest year, and I’m going to get out and put this commission together to redesign the tax code,” Williams said. “I’m going to go out to chambers of commerce and local organizations, civic clubs, Republicans, Democrats, independents. We all have to get on board to change this state for job creation.”
Williams said that during his campaign across the state, one consistent message he has heard is that the negative campaign ads should stop.
Franklin Clark is a reporter for The Cadiz Record and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.