Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear will push for reforms in the state tax code and a constitutional amendment on expanded gaming during his second term.
The governor promised to pursue both goals during his inaugural address in Frankfort on Tuesday. He also used the speech to confront several of the state’s problems, including improving education and filling state budget deficits due to the national recession.
Beshear says state leaders must engage each other strategically and boldly to confront Kentucky’s problems.
“And we must find the political courage and the will to lay the foundation for a better tomorrow. A foundation which requires as we come out of this recession, the restructuring of our tax system to make it more fair and efficient to meet the needs of our people. And a foundation which requires allowing the people of Kentucky to vote on expanded gaming within our borders,” he says.
During the gubernatorial contest against Republican David Williams, Beshear rejected calls for immediate tax reform, saying the economy was too fragile to address the issue. And though he did not provide a timeline or details on its passage, its mention in the inaugural address certainly caught observers attention.
The governor did say he will introduce a constitutional amendment for gaming during the 2012 General Assembly, adding state leaders must work together to confront problems such as expanded gambling, education and tax reform.
“Nearly 850,000 Kentuckians went to the polls on November 8, and they delivered an explicit message. They want leaders who build bridges, not dams; who are motivated by the common good, not ideology; and who reject the politics of division and intolerance,” he says.
Beshear was sworn in for a second term along with former Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, who will serve as lieutenant governor and is replacing former Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo.