The Kentucky Association of Counties (KACo) is the "voice" of Kentucky's county governments and advocates for county interests both in Frankfort and in Washington, D.C.
KACo was originally formed to represent the interests of Kentucky's counties and county-elected officials. Although the list of services offered by the Association has grown substantially over the years, legislative and executive branch lobbying remains a key focus of KACo. From the halls of the State Capitol to the United States Congress, the KACo team of in-house legislative agents and contract lobbyists, in cooperation with representatives of KACo's affiliate associations, are continually monitoring state and federal issues which may potentially impact counties. The KACo legislative team members are tireless advocates for legislative and regulatory solutions to the complex issues confronting counties and county officials, to preserving home rule, and in opposing unfunded mandates.
During legislative sessions, the KACo legislative team monitors and tracks proposed legislation as it makes its way through the legislative process. The legislative team meets weekly with the KACo Legislative Committee to develop policies and positions to advance the interests of Kentucky's counties. Team members attend legislative committee meetings and provide testimony on the matters before those committees. They seek support for the Association's position on legislative issues from individual members of the General Assembly and their staff by educating them on the impacts that specific proposals have on Kentucky counties. Legislative staff members also regularly meet with county officials from across the Commonwealth and representatives of other interest groups to build coalitions for support of county legislative initiatives. Most importantly, the legislative team strives to keep local officials advised on the status of legislation and other issues pending before the General Assembly. Team members maintain the legislative services web page on the KACo website and frequently send updates to Association members.
In the interim between legislative sessions, legislative team members constantly monitor the meetings of the interim joint committees of the legislature, keeping a finger on trends that may impact counties. They travel across the Commonwealth, meeting with members of the General Assembly in their home districts to discuss issues important to the Association. They meet with county officials and others to identify, refine and build support for proposals to address those issues in upcoming legislative sessions.
In Washington, D.C., KACo works closely with the National Association of Counties to address county issues at the national level. The legislative team travels to Washington, D.C., to meet with Kentucky's congressional delegation to relate the position of KACo members on federal legislative proposals.