UNOFFICIAL COPY AS OF 4/13/2016 1998 REG. SESS. 98 RS HB 682/GA
AN ACT relating to counties and making an appropriation therefor.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:
SECTION 1. A NEW SECTION OF KRS CHAPTER 67 IS CREATED TO READ AS FOLLOWS:
The Commission on County Consolidation is established to study the consolidation of counties in Kentucky. During the 1998-1999 interim, the Commission on County Consolidation shall take the following actions:
(1) Review the current population and area of each Kentucky county; its population growth or decline since 1900; the location and size of incorporated cities in each county; the location and types of governmental services in each county; the property tax base in each county; the local taxes and other local government charges levied in each county; the economy of each county, including agriculture, commerce, industry and governmental services, the employment commuting patterns of each county; and barriers to travel between counties.
(2) Chart the growth in the number of counties from the creation of the Commonwealth to the creation of McCreary County in 1912, to show which counties, at what time, were previously included in other counties.
(3) Develop a plan for the General Assembly to reduce, by January, 2020, through consolidation pursuant to Sections 63 and 64 of the Constitution, the number of counties in Kentucky to the least number of counties feasible, that number to be determined by the commission. The plan shall not require the elimination of the office of any popularly elected county official or school board member in office on the effective date of this Act, so long as that officer is continuously in office until 2020, or until the officer vacates his office, whichever shall occur first.
(5) Suggest a process by which each county to be created can determine the type and size of fiscal court it will have, the date when it will first elect local officials, and a method for applying existing county ordinances until the new fiscal court can adopt a code of ordinances.
(6) Suggest any changes in procedures for school district merger which might be deemed necessary.
(7) Suggest graduated levels of economic incentives which might be offered to counties to encourage voluntary consolidation, according to the plan to be adopted by the General Assembly, by January 2001, January 2005, January 2009, January 2013, January 2017, or January 2020.
SECTION 2. A NEW SECTION OF KRS CHAPTER 67 IS CREATED TO READ AS FOLLOWS:
The Commission on County Consolidation shall be composed of thirty-five (35) members, chosen in the following manner:
(1) Four (4) members of the General Assembly, two (2) to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and two (2) to be appointed by the President of the Senate;
(2) The secretary of the Cabinet for Economic Development or the secretary's designee;
(3) The Attorney General or the Attorney General's designee;
(4) Eight (8) elected county officials, six (6) of whom shall be appointed from a list of at least twelve (12) nominees submitted jointly by the Kentucky Association of Counties and the Kentucky Association of County Judges/Executive;
(5) Four (4) elected city officials, two (2) of whom shall be appointed from a list of at least four (4) nominees submitted by the Kentucky League of Cities;
(6) Two (2) judges of the Court of Justice from a list of at least three (3) nominees submitted by the Chief Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court;
(7) One (1) person representing the area development districts submitted from a list of at least three (3) from the Kentucky Council of Area Development Districts;
(14) One (1) member from a list of at least three (3) nominees submitted by the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents; and
(15) Three (3) citizens, one of whom is selected from a county with a population of less than ten thousand (10,000) citizens, one of whom is selected from a county with a population between ten thousand (10,000) and twenty thousand (20,000) citizens, and one of whom is selected from a county with a population greater than twenty thousand (20,000).
The Governor shall appoint the members to the commission from the selections in subsections (2) through (15) of this section on or before August 1, 1998.
SECTION 3. A NEW SECTION OF KRS CHAPTER 67 IS CREATED TO READ AS FOLLOWS:
(1) The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House shall each designate a co-chair for the Commission on County Consolidation.
(2) The members of the commission shall serve for two (2) year terms which the General Assembly may renew at succeeding regular sessions. Vacancies in the commission shall be filled by appointment in the same manner as the original appointments.
(3) Nonlegislative members shall serve without pay, but shall be reimbursed for their reasonable and necessary expenses in connection with the performance of their duties, to be paid out of the sum appropriated to the commission. Legislative members of the commission shall receive their usual per diem as indicated in KRS 7.110(5) for the attendance of meetings, including reimbursement for their reasonable and necessary expenses in connection with the performance of their duties.
(4) The full commission shall meet twice annually and at other times as it deems necessary. The commission may hold public hearings from time to time on matters within its purview. Whenever appropriate, the commission shall organize itself into task groups related to the subject matter under consideration and they may meet at times they deem necessary.
(5) The commission shall provide a preliminary report with recommendations on the process of consolidating counties to the Legislative Research Commission and the Governor by September 1, 1999. It is intended that the General Assembly review the report, enact any legislation deemed necessary on the basis of the report, and renew the commission from session to session until the final report is adopted and a plan for the consolidation of counties is enacted.
SECTION 4. A NEW SECTION OF KRS CHAPTER 67 IS CREATED TO READ AS FOLLOWS:
The Commission on County Consolidation shall be attached to the Department of Local Government for administrative purposes. The commission, in consultation with the commissioner of the Department of Local Government, shall employ an executive director. The director, with the approval of the chairs of the commission and the commissioner of the Department of Local Government, may employ those persons or may contract for those services necessary for the effective performance of the commission's work. The director may accept the voluntary services of any interested citizens who shall serve without pay, but these citizens shall receive their reasonable and necessary expenses to be paid out of the sum appropriated to the commission.
Section 5. There is appropriated to the Commission on County Consolidation, out of the general fund in the State Treasury the sum of one hundred ten thousand dollars ($110,000) for fiscal year 1997-98, and one hundred ten thousand dollars ($110,000) for fiscal year 1998-1999.