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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.

Penny M. Miller, a professor of political science at the University of Kentucky, is the author of Kentucky Politics and Government: Do We Stand United?, and the co-author of two other books, The Kentucky Legislature: Two Decades of Change and Political Parties and Primaries in Kentucky. Her articles have appeared in leading professional journals such as Journal of Politics, Western Politics Quarterly, Women & Politics, Kentucky Law Journal, and Political Science & Politics. She serves as a board member of the Kentucky Long-Term Policy Research Center and Kids Voting Kentucky. She also served as Chair of the Kentucky Commission on Women, and as a board member of the Kentucky Center for Public Issues and the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars.

"A good starting point for those interested in late-twentieth-century Kentucky politics. It deserves a place on every Kentucky bookshelf."—Filson History Quarterly

"Reflects the principal concerns of Jones’s administration through speeches and press releases."—Documentary Editing

"A useful resource for anyone interested in the main issues during his term as governor. . . . A valuable reference tool."—Northern Kentucky Heritage

"Contains the essence of the legacy of Brereton C. Jones. It is indispensable to research libraries and all who would know it, while understanding the art of politics and the power of the spoken word."—Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

Publication Date



The University Press of Kentucky

Place of Publication

Lexington, KY






Brereton C. Jones, Kentucky, Government, Politics


Political Science


Penny M. Miller was the editor.

The Public Papers of Governor Brereton C. Jones, 1991-1995
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