FRANKFORT (AP) — State lawmakers are advancing bills to overhaul the state’s foster care and adoption system one day after Republican Gov. Matt Bevin used his State of the Commonwealth address to vow Kentucky would be a model for the nation.

Thursday, a House panel unanimously advanced proposals that would let state social workers place children with adults who are not related to them by blood, but have an “emotionally significant relationship” with the child. They also approved a bill that would let foster children get driver’s licenses, a rite of passage denied to many teenagers in the state system because they don’t have a parent to sign the application.

Both bills were backed by Bevin and his wife, Glenna, who worked closely with lawmakers in crafting the proposals.

“It is my vision, it is my intent and I am determined to see happen, the fact that Kentucky will be a model for America when it comes to adoption and foster care,” Bevin said during his speech on Wednesday to a joint session of the General Assembly.

For the Bevins, the issue is personal. The couple tried to adopt a child from Kentucky’s foster care system several years ago, only to be denied because they already had five children. The Bevins went…

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