In his inaugural address, Governor Brereton C. Jones proclaimed, "This administration is committed to having the most positive, progressive, exciting four years in our state's history."
Through speeches and press releases, this volume reflects the principal concerns of Jones's time in office. Thematically organized, the more than two hundred public statements included here present the public face of the Jones administration on such issues as health care, education, economic development, the environment, and governmental reform. Nowhere else has the full text of these speeches and press releases been printed.
Governor Jones, born in 1939, was elected to the West Virginia legislature in 1964, where he served for four years before retiring from politics. After moving to Kentucky and switching allegiance from the Republican to the Democratic Party, he re-entered politics with a successful campaign to become lieutenant governor in 1987. He was elected the Commonwealth's fifty-fourth governor in 1991 by a record margin of nearly two to one.
Jones initiated a number of reforms once in office. He turned a $400 million budget deficit into a $300 million surplus in four years, and he passed dramatic ethics reform in both the executive and legislative branches. Health-care issues were also of great importance to Jones, who spent the years before his election working with the Kentucky Health Care Access Foundation in addition to farming. After surviving a helicopter crash in 1992, he turned the main focus of his administration toward health-care reform and initiatives. Though he met with legislative opposition when he proposed universal health care for all Kentuckians, he did help pass legislation in 1994 that would serve as a solid beginning on the issue for future governors.