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Steven L. Beshear, Governor of Kentucky

Thursday, June 6, 2013

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The Empire Club of Canada Presents:
Steven L. Beshear, Governor of Kentucky on Growing our Future Together: The Value of Advancing the Strong Economic Ties Between Canada and Kentucky

Steven L. Beshear was elected Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky in November 2007. An attorney by profession, Gov. Beshear has a long background in public service, having served as a state representative in the Kentucky General Assembly, attorney general and lieutenant governor prior to being elected governor. To each of these positions he has brought a foundation of integrity and ethics, as well as a deeply felt commitment to improving the lives of fellow Kentuckians. During three terms as state representative, Beshear helped modernize the Kentucky Judicial System and proposed legislation that resulted in the modernization and more than doubling of neo natal capacities at the University of Kentucky Hospital. As attorney general, Beshear saved countless taxpayer dollars by successfully cracking down on statewide food stamp fraud and pursued several controversial investigations involving state government employees. As lieutenant governor, Beshear helped push for reform of the child welfare system. He also created and spearheaded the Kentucky Tomorrow Commission, a strategic planning initiative that identified daunting challenges facing the state then and far into the future. After taking nearly two decades off to practice law, Beshear entered a crowded field in the governor’s race and beat the incumbent. As governor, Beshear has helped restore public trust by creating a culture of integrity in state government that has included rooting out cronyism and implementing stronger ethics standards. He has also spending with a trimming of the state workforce, implemented a more efficient way of designing and building roads and won bipartisan support for a complex reform of the beleaguered public pension system. Despite inheriting an austere budget and a struggling economy, he has focused on initiatives to help Kentucky families. These have included expanding efforts to bring health coverage to 35,000 uninsured children, designing a plan to bring prescription drugs to those who can’t afford them, securing bridge funding to save Kentucky’s student loan agency and calling for a new analysis on higher education affordability and access. Gov. Beshear is a native of Dawson Springs in Hopkins County, Ky., where he was one of five children of a Baptist minister and a mother dedicated to her community. Beshear has a bachelor’s degree and law degree from the University of Kentucky, where he was president of the student body. He also served as an intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army Reserve, where he also carried out certain Judge Advocate General duties. He and his wife, Jane, have been married since 1969. They own a small farm in Clark County. They have two sons Jeff, a veterinarian, and Andy, an attorney and three grandchildren. Beshear has long been deeply involved in the community, and his various civic activities include such organizations as CommerceLexington Inc. the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation, God’s Pantry Food Bank, Bluegrass Tomorrow, the Kentucky World Trade Center, and the UK College of Law Visiting Committee.

Stephen Beshear, Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky

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