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HB161/LM (BR963) - A. Koenig, A. Simpson, G. Brown Jr., P. Moffett

     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 process; permit two or more counties to consolidate with an action initiated by public petition or local ordinance; require the signatures of 20 percent or more of the number of persons voting in last presidential election for an initiation petition; provide for the contents and certification of petitions; require the county judge/executive in the initiating county within ten days to notify the other local governments and their citizens of the proposal; require responding action in adjoining counties within 120 days or the 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 ten 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 six citizens to a transition committee; require transition committee to divide county into three to eight magisterial districts and to select two to five names for the new county, to be decided by the voters; require a final report of the transition committee be submitted to the judges/executive; provide for a gubernatorial appointee if necessary to break a tie vote on questions relating to the name of the new county, the formation of magisterial districts, or other issues on the ballot; require all taxes from the immediate year to remain in effect until changed by the new county; provide for the satisfaction of debts and expenditure of funds by previously existing counties and the newly consolidated county during the transition period, including by the creation of special taxing districts for repayment of prior financial obligations; require surplus funds to be spent in the areas where funds were raised; permit voters to determine the location of the new county seat from previously existing locations; require the county seat to remain at that location for not less than ten years; require other remaining county buildings to be maintained as branch offices for ten years; require the Department for Local Government to promulgate administrative regulations awarding preference points on Small Cities Community Development Block Grant program applications and provide technical and advisory assistance to consolidated counties; require, upon consolidation, all appointments to boards of special purpose governmental entities to remain in effect until the expiration of the term, at which point the appropriate appointing authority shall make new appointments; provide for election districts and judicial circuits; repeal KRS 67.190, 67.200, 67.210, 67.220, 67.230, 67.240, 67.250, 67.260, 67.270, 67.280, 67.290, and 67.310.

     Jan 05, 2016 - introduced in House
     Jan 06, 2016 - to Local Government (H)
     Jan 29, 2016 - posted in committee
     Feb 17, 2016 - reported favorably, 1st reading, to Calendar
     Feb 18, 2016 - 2nd reading, to Rules; posted for passage in the Regular Orders of the Day for Friday, February 19, 2016