06RS HB437


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HB 437/LM (BR 955) - A. Simpson, J. Bowen

     AN ACT relating to local government.
     Create new sections of KRS 67 relating to the formation of a unified local government; permit a county and cities within the county to unite to form a unified local government; define "citizen members", "participating cities", and "population"; establish the procedure for unification to require the enactment of ordinances by the participating local governments or the submission of a petition from the public as prescribed, require the county clerk to certify petitions or ordinances as valid, require clerk to notify the designated local officials of the validation of the ordinances or petitions and the initiation of the unification process, and require the appointment of a unification review commission within 60 days of the initiation of the process by the county clerk; require a unification review commission to be no less than 20 nor more than 40 members, and permit the county judge/executive and the mayors of the participating cities to determine the size of the commission, require the membership to be equally divided between the county and participating cities with the ratio of the membership between the cities and county as prescribed, provide that the chair of the commission be a citizen member elected by majority vote of the membership, and require vacancies to be filled as originally provided; require the commission to be funded by the county and participating cities in proposition to their relative population as prescribed; outline those issues to be studied by the commission and the contents of a unification plan if it is determined that a unification is to be proposed, permit the commission to propose the formation of a single unit of government; and require a unification plan to be completed within 2 years of the commission's appointment or be dissolved; vest all legislative authority of a unified local government in a legislative council, vest the executive authority in a chief executive officer who shall have the powers and duties of a county judge/executive and a mayor as prescribed, permit the employment of a chief administrative officer as prescribed, require all appointments to be made by the chief executive officer with confirmation subject to the approval by a majority of the legislative council, and require the salary of the chief executive officer to be no less than the salary of a county judge/executive based on the county population as prescribed; require the holding of at least 1 public hearing prior to the finalizing of the unification plan, permit the holding of additional public hearings, and require the public notice of such hearings as prescribed in KRS Chapter 424; require the unification commission to vote on the final version of the plan, and require the plan to be approved by a majority of the commission's members prior to its submission to the voters of the county at the next regular election; require the question on adoption of a unification plan to be filed with the county clerk and advertised as prescribed, require a majority of those voting to adopt a unification plan, require the question on unification to be governed by those laws on elections as prescribed and in KRS Chapters 116 to 121, require a unification plan to take effect January 1 following the election of officers for the unified government and thereafter as prescribed, and prohibit the question of unification from being submitted again for 2 years if rejected by the voters; provide for the redistricting of legislative council seats as prescribed; permit the unified local government to exercise the powers and privileges of counties and the highest class of city within the county, extend the same sovereign immunity to a unified local government as other local governments, and require the enactment and enforcement of local ordinances as prescribed; require all ordinances, resolutions and orders of the county and participating cities to be in effect so long as they do not conflict or until specifically superseded by a specific act of the new unified government, and provide for the effective application of conflicting ordinances; provide for the continuation of all contracts, bonds, and franchises in effect in all cities and the county, and provide that these conflicts shall be resolved so as to not to impair the rights of any party involved; require the continued existence and election of all local Constitutional offices but permit the unified local government to assign the duties of these officers as prescribed, and extend any previous oversight of these offices to the new unified local government; require all city and county government employees to become employees of the unified local government, extend all previously held civil service rights to employees until changed by ordinance or statute, and extend all rights, privileges, and protection of beneficiaries of retirement and pension funds until all benefits due each beneficiary are paid; permit the territory of a unified local government to be divided into service districts for taxing purposes as prescribed; permit the continuation of all special purpose taxing districts within the county unless eliminated under the unification plan or later dissolved as provided by statute, and permit the unified local government to retain the taxing authority of the special purpose local government notwithstanding KRS 132.027; require all ordinances creating board, commissions, interlocal agreements, and authorities to be deemed reenacted unless eliminated by the unification plan, permit all appointees to continue to serve for the remainder of their original appointments, permit the unified local government to restructure, abolish, consolidate, or alter in any way such entities as permitted by law, and require the continuation of any planning commission until dissolved as provided by law; require the continuation of existing tax rates and levels of service until changed by the unified local government, permit the unified local government to provide for a level of services and taxation as prescribed for those properties located in the former cities which may be of a different level and different tax rate than areas which were formerly unincorporated, and provide for the payment and purchase of certificates of delinquencies on former city tax bills as provided; require any nonparticipating city in a unified county to remain incorporated with all previous powers, prohibit any further incorporation of cities in a unified county, and prohibit any annexation by a city in a unified county unless approved by the legislative council of the unified local government as provided.


     HCS/LM - Eliminate provision to begin the unification process by petition; require the city and county legislative bodies to approve the appointees to the unification commission; extend from 2 to 5 years after an unfavorable vote the waiting period before another attempt at unification can occur; permit the unification commission to determine which pre-existing local ordinances will continue in effect and where they will be in effect until changed by the new legislative council; include jailers and sheriffs in the list of local constitutional officers whose term of office and election would not be affected by a unified local government; make technical changes to conform.

     HFA (1, A. Simpson) - Make technical correction.

     Jan 23-introduced in House
     Jan 24-to Local Government (H)
     Feb 10-posted in committee
     Feb 21-reported favorably, 1st reading, to Calendar with Committee Substitute
     Feb 22-2nd reading, to Rules
     Feb 23-posted for passage in the Regular Orders of the Day for Friday, February 24, 2006
     Feb 24-floor amendment (1) filed to Committee Substitute
     Feb 28-3rd reading, passed 98-0 with Committee Substitute, floor amendment (1)
     Mar 1-received in Senate
     Mar 3-to State and Local Government (S)
     Mar 22-reported favorably, 1st reading, to Calendar
     Mar 23-2nd reading, to Rules
     Apr 12-posted for passage in the Regular Orders of the Day for Wednesday, April 12, 2006; 3rd reading, passed 35-0; received in House; enrolled, signed by each presiding officer; delivered to Governor
     Apr 24-signed by Governor (Acts ch. 246)

Vote History

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