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 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.
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.