HB 163/LM (BR 949) - A. Koenig
AN ACT relating to voluntary unification of counties.
Create new sections of KRS Chapter 67 to establish a new procedure for the optional consolidation of counties; exclude consolidated local governments, charter county governments, urban-county governments, and unified local governments from the procedures; permit two or more counties to consolidate with such action initiated by public petition or local ordinance; require signatures of 20% or more of the number of persons voting in last presidential election for initiation petition; provide for the contents and certification of petitions as prescribed; require the county judge/executive in the initiating county within 10 days to notify the other local governments and their citizens of the proposal as prescribed; require responding action in adjoining counties within 120 days or initial action becomes void; require a special election within 90 days if adjoining counties enter the process; require approval in each county for consolidation to become effective; prescribe the language for the ballot, other election procedures, and advertisement of the election by the sheriff; require a simple majority of those voting in each county for approval; require all election costs to be paid for by the state, and prohibit any organizational changes in a newly consolidated county for 10 years; prohibit any new county from becoming effective until the end of terms of current officeholders and require new officers to be elected in the same manner and at same time as other county officials; require the county judge/executive in each county to appoint 6 citizens to a transition committee as prescribed; require transition committee to divide county into 3-8 magisterial districts and to select 2-5 names for the new county to be decided by the voters; require final report of the transition committee as prescribed; provide for a gubernatorial appointee to break tie vote on questions relating the name of the new county, the formation of magisterial districts, or other issues on ballot; require all taxes from immediate year to remain in effect until changed by the new county; require the creation of a special taxing district for repayment of prior financial obligations in previously existing counties as prescribed; require surplus funds to be spent in the areas where funds were raised as prescribed; permit voters to determine the location of new county seat from previously existing locations; require county seat to remain at that location for not less than 10 years; require other remaining county buildings to be maintained as branch offices for 10 years as prescribed; require the Department for Local Government to promulgate administrative regulations awarding preference points on community development block grant applications and provide technical and advisory assistance to consolidated counties; require, upon consolidation, all appointments to boards of special districts to remain in effect until the expiration of the term, at which point the appropriate appointing authority shall make new appointments; amend KRS 567.280 to provide for federal and state election districts as prescribed; repeal KRS 67.190, 67.200, 67.210, 67.220, 67.230, 67.240, 67.250, 67.260, 67.270, 67.290, and 67.310.
Feb 5-introduced in House
Feb 6-to Local Government (H)