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Eight Kentucky Governors Endorse Local Option

Monday March 10, 2014

Eight Kentucky governors – representing all of the living people who have held the office – announced today that they’re endorsing local option, saying it’s the best way for citizens across the Commonwealth to have a direct voice and vote in making investments that improve their communities.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear joined former governors Wendell Ford; Julian Carroll; John Y. Brown, Jr.; Martha Layne Collins; Brereton Jones; Paul Patton; and Ernie Fletcher in announcing their unified support for the effort.

“I very strongly support the LIFT initiative,” Beshear said. “When you look at Oklahoma City and hear what they have accomplished there, it makes you realize that communities in Kentucky need the same tools if we want to remain competitive.”

The governors released the following quotes:

“I know that people in every area of our great commonwealth want the ability to control their own destiny and to have a direct say in how their tax dollars are spent,” said Gov. Wendell Ford, who served from 1971-74. “Local option gives them that basic right.”

“This is a progressive step that can help move individual communities and our entire commonwealth forward, creating jobs and a stronger quality of life,” said Gov. Julian Carroll, who served from 1974-79. “It puts the decision-making right in the hands of citizens, which is about as direct a form of democracy as it gets.”

“LIFT gives local control to allow communities to take advantage in building future opportunities as they become available,” said Gov. John Y. Brown, Jr., who served from 1979-83. “This is an essential tool for positive change and progress.”

“Economic development is important to me,” said Gov. Martha Layne Collins, who served from 1983-87. “LIFT gives local communities a better tool to fund the kinds of projects that attract businesses and grow the economy. The best part is that it is all about local control.”

"As citizens become more aware, they are favoring local option because it gives them a direct voice and direct control over key investments that can move their community forward,” said Gov. Brereton Jones, who served from 1991-95.

“As a former county judge, I know that local communities have great ideas, but struggle with funding,” said Gov. Paul Patton, who served from 1995-2003. “LIFT gives cities and counties around the state a viable funding option – one that they control and vote on.”

“Kentucky communities need to have every tool at their disposal to brand themselves as a great place to live and work and attract expanding companies and talented workers,” said Gov. Ernie Fletcher. “This could be a smart, effective strategy for communities who want to use it, and it should be up to those communities.”