Call to Order and Roll Call
The6th meeting of the Task Force on Elections, Constitutional Amendments, and Intergovernmental Affairs of the Interim Joint Committee on State Government was held on Tuesday, November 15, 2011, at 1:00 PM, in Room 171 of the Capitol Annex. Senator Damon Thayer, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Damon Thayer, Co-Chair; Representative Darryl T. Owens, Co-Chair; Senators Walter Blevins Jr., John Schickel, Dan "Malano" Seum, Robert Stivers II, and Johnny Ray Turner; Representatives Larry Clark, James R. Comer Jr., Joseph M. Fischer, Derrick Graham, Mike Harmon, and John Will Stacy.
Guests: Maryellen Allen, State Board of Elections; James Lewis, Leslie County Clerk; and Brian Miller, Executive Vice President, Home Builders Association of Northern Kentucky.
Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the meeting of October 25, 2011, were approved without objection upon motion by Senator Schickel and second by Representative Clark.
Local Referenda – Overview of Petition Requirements
The Task Force discussed the wide variety of permissible local referenda and their petition requirements. Maryellen Allen, General Counsel of the State Board of Elections, gave an overview of local referenda categories and some of the differing petition requirements. Ms. Allen also discussed the specific requirements in KRS 147.620 which concerns the dissolution of an area planning commission.
Brian Miller, Executive Vice President of the Northern Kentucky Home Builders Association, testified as to his organization’s petition under KRS 147.620 that was rejected by the Kenton County Clerk. Mr. Miller suggested that the number of required signatures be reduced and clear guidelines provided to county clerks on how signatures should be verified.
James Lewis, Leslie County Clerk and Chair of the Elections Committee of the Kentucky County Clerk’s Association, testified that his organization supports efforts to amend the referenda statutes to require more information in petitions so that county clerks can more easily indentify valid petition signatures.
Several members of the Task Force posed questions and voiced their opinions and concerns on local referenda petition requirements.
The folders distributed to the Task Force members included a document on local referenda petitions generally, as well as several court documents, news articles, and submitted letters relating to the Kenton County petition and litigation, copies of which may be found in the Legislative Research Commission library.
Business concluded, and the meeting adjourned at 2:40.