Representatives of a well-known social service organization got a full dose of gubernatorial politics Thursday afternoon in Lexington. Six candidates for Kentucky governor spelled out some of their platform items before Community Action workers.
First up taking questions from Spectrum News’ Mario Anderson was retired state engineer Geoff Young. Young favors legalizing marijuana for medicinal and recreational use and taxing it. “You shouldn’t be driving under the influence of any substance, but that’s well taken care of by our current system which prosecutes drunk drivers,” said Young.
Former State Auditor Adam Edelen believes selected economic development recruitment can help drive up wages. “We need to stop incenting companies that don’t pay a living wage,” noted Edelen.
Longtime central Kentucky realtor-landlord Ike Lawrence says legalizing sports gambling and marijuana are quick fixes with societal costs. “If you bring a weed into a yard, the weed takes over the yard. Give a weed an inch and it will take over a yard,” said Lawrence.
House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins believes expanded Medicaid carries benefits beyond those citizens enrolled. “In Eastern Kentucky alone, in my opinion, if we had not seen growth of the healthcare industry there, we would have seen a total collapse of the economy,” said Adkins.
East Bernstadt state representative Robert Goforth would like to see high school students be given more opportunities to prepare for skilled trades. “They can earn enough apprenticeship hours or coursework or whatever it may be to end up being ready to be licensed when they graduate in one of these skilled trades,” Goforth said.
State Attorney General Andy Beshear believes Kentucky voters would approve targeted expanded gambling at the ballot box. “If it is tied to pensions and the way that I would propose it is that every dime goes to our pension system until it is fully solvent, then yes I believe our electorate is very strongly behind it,” said Beshear.
Governor Matt Bevin and William Woods were invited but did not participate.