Jerry Abramson

Luallen Takes Oath As New Kentucky Lt. Governor

Nov 13, 2014
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Crit Luallen is Kentucky's 56th lieutenant governor after a private swearing-in ceremony at the home of a retired Kentucky chief justice.

Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear chose Luallen to replace outgoing Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson, who resigned to take a job as deputy assistant to President Barack Obama at the White House.

The former Democratic state auditor who has twice declined runs for higher office, Luallen has worked for six governors with positions including budget director and secretary of the finance and tourism cabinets.

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.

Kentucky's Lieutenant Governor says he is taking a pass on running for governor in 2015.

Speaking Tuesday afternoon to the Elizabethtown Rotary Club, Democrat Jerry Abramson said he wants to spend his remaining two-and-a-half years in Frankfort as an education advocate.

"You don't need to be an elected official to be a public servant," the former Louisville mayor told reporters after his speech. "I see myself really getting involved in public service by advocating for kids, by speaking out, by meeting with parents."

Abramson had previously said he was considering a gubernatorial bid. He told his Hardin County audience Tuesday that he wants to be an "education warrior" who helps the commonwealth develop a more skilled and educated workforce.

Political observers are keeping a close eye on Kentucky’s Lieutenant Governor this week. Jerry Abramson has said he would announce whether or not he plans to run for governor shortly after the Fancy Farm political picnic.

Abramson is addressing the Elizabethtown Rotary Club Tuesday, and every public event he makes this week will likely draw extra attention.

Abramson has made no secret of the fact that he’s been considering a run for the governor’s mansion in 2015. His boss, Governor Steve Beshear will be finishing up his second term and by law has to step aside.

Abramson, a former Louisville mayor,  has been often mentioned as a potential Democratic candidate for governor, along with Attorney General Jack Conway, Auditor Adam Edelen, and former auditor Crit Luallen.

Abramson’s Tuesday speech to the Elizabethtown Rotary Club begins at noon eastern time at Stone Hearth Restaurant.

Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson says he's close to deciding whether he'll run for governor in 2015.

Abramson said Monday he expects to decide in the next couple of weeks.

The former Louisville mayor is among several potential Democratic candidates eyeing the governor's race. Others include Attorney General Jack Conway, Auditor Adam Edelen, former Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo and former Auditor Crit Luallen.

Abramson told reporters he's not concerned who else might enter the race, saying "the more the merrier."

Kentucky governors are limited to two terms, and Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear is in the middle of his second.

Abramson will skip this week's Fancy Farm church picnic due to a family event. The picnic includes stump speeches, but Abramson says the focus will be on next year's U.S. Senate race.

Kentucky’s Lieutenant Governor says he may announce his intentions regarding a run for governor before or shortly after the August 3rd Fancy Farm Picnic.  Jerry Abramson has served as Kentucky’s Lieutenant Governor since 2012 and previously served as Louisville Mayor for 21 years.

Abramson is one of a number of democrats discussing a run for the office including term limited Attorney General Jack Conway and former State Auditor Crit Luallen.

Abramson says current polls show he could win a race for Governor, but he’s undecided on whether or not to run.

“I’m going through this yes, no, up down,” said Abramson.  “If you’re going to spend a year and a half hour to raise $15 million and once you win the question becomes can you really be a transformational public servant and make a significant difference in the future of Kentucky? That’s what I’m thinking through.”

Supporters of a statewide smoking ban in Kentucky are once again trying to persuade a House committee to pass the the legislation this session.

The House Judiciary Committee is the second committee—after House Health and Welfare—to hear the smoking ban bill sponsored by State Rep. Susan Westrom, a Lexington Democrat.

This time, property rights and business rights were the main topic of questioning, but Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson told the committee that Kentucky's businesses have long supported smoking bans.

"Some say the ban will have a negative impact on business," Abramson said. "And as I said to you, the Chamber of Commerce back at home and at the state made it clear that asthma and lung cancer keep employees out of their jobs."

Kentucky LRC

Kentucky lawmakers seemed eager to dig into another tax reform bill this year, but the chair of the latest tax reform commission says reform isn't likely coming soon.

Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson—who chaired the commission —and Mary Lassiter, the secretary of the cabinet, addressed lawmakers on the budget committees about the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Tax Commission.

Many lawmakers were eager to see a bill filed, even if tax reform is unlikely in this year's regular session. But Lassiter and Abramson implied that one was not likely anytime soon.

But State Rep. Jim Wayne, a Democrat from Louisville, who unveiled his own tax reform bill today, said he would still like the see the commission's suggestions in bill form.

Abramson: I'm Not Going to Run Against McConnell

Nov 27, 2012

Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson will not be a Democratic Senate candidate in 2014, taking on the nation's most powerful Republican, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Abramson says having served about a quarter-century as Louisville Mayor before taking on his current post, he sees himself more as an executive, than a legislator.

The Governor's Commission on Tax Reform will likely miss a November 15th deadline. Kentucky Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson chairs the panel and says progress is being made, but more discussion is needed to finalize a report. 

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