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State of the Commonwealth: Kentucky is ‘back with a vengeance,’ Beshear declares

See the governor’s entire State of the Commonwealth address below.

Declaring that “our vision is working,” Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear used his eighth State of the Commonwealth address Wednesday to urge legislators to remain focused on the long-term strategies and collaborative relationship that have lifted Kentucky out of the economic doldrums.

Describing record-setting improvements in key economic measures such as unemployment rates, new businesses, capital investment and exports, as well as reform in education and health care, Beshear said Kentucky had regained the national leadership position it had held centuries ago.

“We can hold our heads high once again,” he said. “Because Kentucky is back, and we’re back with a vengeance. … In the public and private halls of power, where the issues of today are being hammered out, Kentucky has become – once again – a national example of leadership and success.”

Originally scheduled for February, Gov. Beshear’s annual appearance before the joint session of the Kentucky General Assembly was moved up because he has been invited to Europe to speak at an international gathering of auto manufacturers.

He used the invitation as an example of the increased global presence of Kentucky’s advanced manufacturing industry. And he described in detail numbers and rankings that show the progress of Kentucky’s economy in the last seven years, including a drop in the unemployment rate from 10.7 percent to 6 percent.

Beshear also cited an official Federal Reserve evaluation that concluded Kentucky’s economy had not only recovered losses suffered during the recession but had moved on to its highest-ever economic activity.

“In other words,” Gov. Beshear said, “our economy had hit bottom, bounced off that bottom and now has so much momentum that we’ve bounced higher than we were when the struggle started.”

To read Beshear’s State of the Commonwealth address, click here.

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