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Reviser of Statutes Office
History & Functions


History

  • The Kentucky Revised Statutes enacted in 1942 were primarily the result of six years of labor by the Statute Committee of 1936 and its editorial staff, whose work focused on eliminating from the accumulation of seventy years of legislation those provisions no longer in force or effect, and restating and compiling the remainder in an understandable form. Involved was a complete reclassification - bringing together those laws and parts of laws which, because of similiarity of subject matter, properly belonged together, and an arrangement of the laws within each class in a logical order.
  • The 1942 General Assembly, in addition to enacting the Kentucky Revised Statutes, also created a Statute Revision Commission and the office of Reviser of Statutes. By 1954 Ky. Acts ch. 48, the functions of the Statute Revision Commission and the office of the Reviser of Statutes were transferred to the Legislative Research Commission and an Advisory Committee on Statute Revision was created. This advisory committee was eliminated by the repeal of KRS 7.130 in 1984.
  • KRS 7.140(1) provides that the Reviser of Statutes is appointed by the Legislative Research Commission upon recommendation of its director and that the Reviser may be removed only upon the approval of the Legislative Research Commission. This statute sets the requirement that "the reviser shall be learned in the law and shall be either a member of the bar of Kentucky or a person who has had at least two (2) years of responsible experience in statute revision work."
  • The following attorneys have been Kentucky's Revisers of Statutes since the creation of the position in 1942:

    Robert K. Cullen
    Robert W. Meagher
    James A. Tyler
    Dee A. Akers
    David B. Whites
    Robert W. Oliver
    Edward M. Summers
    Melbourne Mills, Jr.
    Norman Lawson, Jr.
    Edith M. Schwab
    John M. Spangler
    William VanArsdall
     

  • The current Reviser of Statutes is Rob Williams, who was appointed to the position effective December 13, 2006. He can be reached by mail at Legislative Research Commission, State Capitol, Room 409, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601; by telephone at (502) 564-8100, ext 404; or by electronic mail at rob.williams@lrc.ky.gov

Functions

  • KRS 7.120(1) directs that "[t]he Legislative Research Commission shall formulate, supervise, and execute plans and methods for the future revision, clarification, classification, codification, and arrangement of the official version of the Kentucky Revised Statutes." Under KRS 7.140(1), the execution of the Commission's responsibilities under this statute and several other statutes in KRS Chapter 7 are to be carried out by the Reviser of Statutes.
  • The Reviser of Statutes, and his staff , --
    • Maintains the official version of the Kentucky Revised Statutes in an electronic database.
    • Reviews all bill drafts and amendments prepared by LRC committee staff prior to their introduction in either chamber of the Kentucky General Assembly.
    • Codifies new statutes into the Kentucky Revised Statutes by editing and assigning KRS numbers to the new laws.
    • Incorporates amendatory text into existing statutes and, in the case of multiple amendments to the same statute, determines under KRS 7.136(3) whether the amendments are or are not in conflict.
    • Oversees the publication of the session laws volumes (the Kentucky Acts) after each regular and extraordinary session of the Kentucky General Assembly.
    • Has the authority to perform a number of editorial functions specified in KRS 7.136(1) and (2) in establishing and maintaining the texts of the laws contained in the official version of the Kentucky Revised Statutes.
    • Prepares reviser's bills for introduction in the Kentucky General Assembly to revise and correct problems that exist in the Kentucky Revised Statutes.
    • Serves, by appointment of the Legislative Research Commission, as one of Kentucky's commissioners to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.
    • Organizes and conducts courses and seminars on bill drafting procedures for agency staff and for executive agency employees and other interested parties.
    • Revises the Bill Drafting Manual for the Kentucky General Assembly, the reference book for legislative drafters.

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