Politics & Government

Kentucky governor halts plan for English-only driving test

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Steve Beshear on Wednesday said the state will continue offering written driver's license tests in 22 languages, reversing a recent decision by the Kentucky State Police to give the exams only in English.

Beshear, at a Capitol news conference Wednesday morning, said he learned of Kentucky State Police's decision to quit offering the driver's license tests in foreign languages Tuesday night.

“In my judgment, that decision was incorrect.” Beshear said. “So late last night I ordered that the decision be reversed.”

The Lexington Herald-Leader wrote about the policy change in a story that appeared Tuesday night on Bluegrass Politics, the newspaper's web site for politics news, and on the front page of Wednesday’s newspaper.

Kentucky has always been a welcoming state to legal foreign residents, Beshear said.

In a news release, Beshear said the decision to offer the written test in English only “did not reflect the values of this administration or the values that I think most Kentuckians share — as a state welcoming people to do business here.”

Beshear cited the fact that Kentucky is an increasingly diverse state, with a growing population of people in the Commonwealth from other countries here as business executives, students and legal workers in industry and other places.

“We have attracted billions of dollars in foreign investment from all around the globe,” Beshear said at the news conference.

Beshear said he disagreed with the decision of Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer but said he still has full confidence in Brewer.

The Kentucky State Police said Tuesday they made the decision because of cuts to the agency’s budget, but officials couldn’t say how much the move would save.

Read the full story at Kentucky.com