The Chatter: Potential GOP candidate Will T. Scott leaves bench, Gov. Beshear releases top 10 accomplishments

12/29/2014 04:57 PM

Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott, a rumored entrant in next year’s Republican gubernatorial primary, has resigned his seat on the state’s highest court effective midnight Friday, The Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

The 67-year-old, of Pikeville, declined to say why he’s resigning, but he previously told the Herald-Leader’s Sam Youngman that he would decide whether to enter the 2015 governor’s race by the time he chopped down his Christmas tree.

Scott, first elected to the 7th Supreme Court District seat in November 2004, said in his statement he was “just gonna walk down the road a little bit and try to find a higher hill to fight from — for Kentucky.”

“Serving on Kentucky’s highest court has been a great honor, but the job strains members from being involved in finding solutions to problems facing Kentucky and our people,” he added, according to the Herald-Leader.

Scott unsuccessfully sought the former 7th Congressional District in eastern Kentucky as the GOP nominee in 1988 and 1990. He also lost to Democrat Ben Chandler in the 1995 attorney general race.

Jobs, kynect top Gov. Beshear’s 2014 accomplishments

Business investments, an improving unemployment rate and a shrinking uninsured population topped Gov. Steve Beshear’s 10 best accomplishments of 2014 released on Monday.

The Democratic governor touted $3.7 billion in projected investments from more than 350 location or expansion plans this year, plus a bevy of improvements in various business and economic rankings. With the state’s 6 percent unemployment rate, the lowest in six years, Kentucky has “great momentum heading into 2015,” Beshear said in a statement.

“We’ve fought our way through the Great Recession during the past seven years to get to this point –- employment rates back at pre-recession levels, real investment in our schools and health care for hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians,” Beshear said. “I’m grateful for the outstanding accomplishments in 2014, but we are nowhere close to finished. There is much more to do to support Kentucky families, and we will not rest until that work is complete.”

Two other issues close to the governor rounded out the top four. Beshear — who has received national recognition for his implementation of the Affordable Care Act, something that has also drawn the ire of Republicans — listed the state’s 8 percent drop in uninsured residents as Kentucky’s third best accomplishment in 2014. That, according to a Gallup poll, is the second sharpest decline in the country.

The state’s “overdue” investments in education was ranked Beshear’s fourth highest accomplishment of 2014. Kentucky’s biennial budget calls for increases in per-pupil spending and funding for technology, after school programs, textbooks and preschool services.

Others in Beshear’s top 10 for 2014 were:

5) Bourbon’s banner year

6) Hundreds of millions of dollars saved on Ohio River Bridges project

7) Governor secures $68 million more in tobacco master settlement agreement payment

8) State’s largest employer goes tobacco-free

9) Broadband partnership to build 3,000 miles of fiber for high-speed Internet access

10) SOAR attracts national investment, names executive director


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