Kentucky Association of Counties

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Kentucky Association of Counties


County Champion


County News

2019 Legislative Session in Review

By Jennifer Burnett
County advocates fought hard for county government during the 2019 session, taking on issues that included transportation funding, public pensions and protection of local revenue.

Download your copy of the 2019 Legislative Session in Review HERE 

Message from the Chair 

Dear fellow KACo member, 

Thank you for the privilege of serving as chairman of the 2018-19 KACo Legislative Committee. It has been my honor to preside over one of the most important KACo committees we have working for county government. 

First and foremost, thank you for your efforts. Your participation is always key – explaining to legislators why they should vote in support of county-positive legislation and to curtail detrimental bills. 

Communication with your legislators is vital and, even as many of you were new to county government this session, you made calls and visited Frankfort to further the county government agenda at the Capitol. We are indebted to you. 

First and foremost, thank you for your efforts. Your participation is always key - explaining to legislators why they should vote in support of county-positive legislation and curtail detrimental bills. 

We are very grateful to the affiliate representatives who attended each weekly meeting during the session, to debate the merits of bills that would have an impact on our constituents and services we provide to our communities. County government serves every resident of our state, and for that reason a significant portion of legislation filed could affect counties. It may have been a short session, but that did not stop legislators from filing almost 800 bills and more than 500 resolutions for us to review for any county impact. Thank you to the Legislative Committee members who faithfully served on this committee. You can find that list on page 13. 

Our KACo team was onsite daily to represent you during the session, from our executive team and government relations to our legal and communications staff. I was proud to witness firsthand their presence at the Capitol and their work ethic. I saw the effort they put into every meeting, communication, and decision made on behalf of county officials. They worked side-by-side with the members and affiliate directors in advocating for us, as well as our external advocate, Ellen Williams, and RunSwitchPR. We are grateful for Sonya Chesser’s quick turnaround in organizing a meal at the Capitol for House and Senate members on a hectic, 16-hour final day before the veto period. It was once again a success and much appreciated by legislators and staff. 

On behalf of the Executive Committee and our staff, thank you for your quick responses to our Action Alerts in reaching out to legislators on a vote. We will need your continued communications with legislators as we look to the 2020 session - we have already begun that work. Besides the usual variety of bills that will be filed, the biennial branch budgets will be top priority, and counties will have to defend the appropriation of every penny for the work we do as a political subdivision of the state. 

For the upcoming session you will have excellent and experienced leadership in Boone County Judge/Executive Gary Moore as he takes the reins of this committee on July 1, 2019. He is an outstanding advocate for county government and will continue to do a tremendous job for all of us. Please continue to talk with your legislators this summer and fall on how they can best help you serve the people in your county. Those relationships are critical to continued legislative progress. 

Thank you for your commitment to KACo and to your constituents. Please call on me anytime I can help you.


Elbert Bennett
Magistrate, Caldwell County