Episode 245. Governor Steven L. Beshear – 61st Governor, Commonwealth of Kentucky (2007-2015)
Before serving as Kentucky’s 61st Governor overseeing a $10 billion enterprise with over 30,000 employees, Steve Beshear served as Attorney General from 1979 to 1983 & Lieutenant Governor from 1983 to 1987, and a Kentucky House of Representatives from 1973 to 1979. In 1987, before his 1st term as Governor in 2007, he joined the Stites & Harbison law firm & supervised the firm’s Lexington office.
As Governor, Steve successfully brought Kentucky through the historic 2008 recession by making Kentucky a leader in job creation. He also helped the state weather an apocalyptic January 2009 Ice Storm that crippled almost a million Kentuckians in total darkness for days and, in some cases, weeks! However, under his leadership, Kentucky’s unemployment rate dropped from 10.7% to 4.9% and set export records for 4 years. In all, Steve’s administration announced almost 2,300 new expansion projects-creating some $19.3 billion in investment & more than 87,000 jobs. The economic turnaround culminated in 2014 with Kentucky winning Site Selection magazine’s coveted Governor’s Cup, meaning Kentucky finished 1st for economic development per capita. In addition, in 2013, Steve announced the expansion of the Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act & launched the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange, benefiting over 500,000 Kentuckians. Together, these actions reduced the state’s uninsured rate from around 20% to 8% and ensured for the 1st time in history that every Kentuckian would have access to affordable health insurance.
Former Governor Beshear is married to former First lady Jane Beshear & their son Andy Beshear became Kentucky’s 50th Attorney General.