Kentucky Lt. Governor Jerry Abramson is still fighting for the legislature to take recommendations from his Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform.
Abramson says he has delivered 59 speeches to encourage constituents to lobby their representatives and senators to take up the issue.
The commission’s report includes 54 suggestions to reform the state tax code and generate an estimated $660-million annually. “The Governor’s working with the leadership to find areas to find common ground to agree on, said Abramson" "I’m out on the trail trying to gin up the involvement of the average guy and gal in a community and I’m asking them to call their legislator, go see their legislator and tell them that they will support that kind of vote."
Abramson says lawmakers are frightened about voting on taxes especially in an election year. He wouldn’t offer odds on whether or not the legislature will take up the issue in January. The Commonwealth has cut more than $1.6-billion in the last six years.
Abramson has two years remaining as Lt. Governor, but this is his last feasible opportunity to push for tax reform. Passing tax reform is procedurally less challenging during the upcoming budget session than garnering a two-thirds vote in an off budget year.
Abramson won’t run for governor following his executive branch stint and he says he has no other job opportunities at this time.
When Abramson announced this summer he would not run for Governor in 2015, he said he hopes to focus on education. In Murray on Tuesday, he said he intends to remain Lt. Governor until the end of his term, but he wouldn’t rule out leaving if the right opportunity presented itself.
Abramson sought the University of Louisville Presidency in the 1990’s and that’s prompted some rumors on MSU’s campus that he might be among candidates for its next president. Abramson denied those rumors today.
However, when asked about a potential presidential run to lead the Kentucky Community and Technical College System he said, “that’s an interesting one too.”
“I’ve been contacted by some opportunities but right now, certainly another year two years that’s all I’ve got as Lt. Governor. You never say never in terms of finishing the full two years or whether you leave in the second year, but we’ll wait and see.”