Gov. Beshear on Farmer, the budget and helping Conway

06/08/2010 05:19 PM

(NEW VIDEO) LOUISVILLE — Gov. Steve Beshear on Tuesday sidestepped the question of whether he’s bracing for a potential 2011 re-election showdown with Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer.

Farmer, the former University of Kentucky basketball player, said Monday there was “a very real possibility” he could jump in the race.

Here’s the governor’s response, which came after a groundbreaking ceremony in Louisville:

Beshear also expanded on his concern that Congress might not pass an extension of a federal Medicaid reimbursement rate increase to the state, which could potentially cost Kentucky $238 million.

Beshear said he didn’t originally bank on having that money when he first recommended a two-year state spending plan in January. That plan, however, was dead on arrival because it was built on having additional revenue from gambling — an issue that went no where in the General Assembly. The version of the budget that the legislature eventually passed last month did rely on the federal government extending that rate increase for six months. The governor went along with that assumption when he proposed to Senate and House leaders a first draft of a compromise budget in early May.

Here’s what Beshear says about his hope for congressional action:

And Beshear told reporters he expects to hit the campaign trail this fall on behalf of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jack Conway, the state’s attorney general, who faces Republican Rand Paul, a Bowling Green ophthalmologist. Beshear backed Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo instead of Conway during the primary.

Here’s what Beshear says:

- Video produced by Holly Thompson, reporting by Ryan Alessi


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