A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Bevin, Beshear share the gubernatorial debate stage at University of Kentucky; it’s mostly contentious

Staff report

The debate between gubernatorial candidates Matt Bevin and Andy Beshear got contentious Tuesday night, with heated exchanges on several subjects.

The debate in Lexington was held at the University of Kentucky. The two will meet in NKY at the Northern Kentucky University on October 29.

Incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear are facing off in the November 5 general election.

(File photos)

The candidates exchanged barbs over health care, education, pensions and support for coal miners.

Animosity has built between the two as Beshear filed several lawsuits challenging Bevin’s executive actions and some legislation.

On education, Beshear spoke about his proposed $2000 pay raise for public school teachers and promised an “education-first” budget. Bevin said public education needs to be funded and said Beshear hadn’t explained how he would fund the raise.

Beshear criticized Bevin’s pension reform policies and argued that public employees received a promise from the state that should be kept. Bevin criticized Andy Beshear’s father Steve Beshear for his handling of the pension system when he was governor.

A common theme for Bevin was referencing Beshear’s father and his time as governor.

Bevin said he would continue his support for Medicaid work requirement, arguing that people should be able to work to receive federal assistance. Beshear called that policy damaging to many Kentuckians who used federal assistance and said that the plan would create an additional tax burden.

A federal judge blocked the work requirements and the Bevin administration is appealing. Beshear said as governor, he would rescind Bevin’s proposal.

Both agreed on the need for alternative methods to help those addicted to drugs.

Another point of contention was prisons: Beshear is opposed to private prisons and Bevin responded that most were opened by his father.

Watch the debate here at WKYT:

THE KENTUCKY DEBATE: Matt Bevin and Andy Beshear are debating the issues at the UK Singletary Center in Lexington. http://bit.ly/2mnWtRo

Posted by WKYT on Tuesday, October 15, 2019

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