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SPOTLIGHT

Fourth week of legislative session wraps up

By Grace Clark, Communications Associate
Savings for county jails and fiscal court reapportionment legislation moves forward.

Fiscal Court Reapportionment Deadline Extension

Legislation to extend the fiscal court reapportionment deadline passed unanimously on the floor of the House of Representatives. HB 212, sponsored by Rep. Michael Meredith (R - Edmonson), requires fiscal courts to initiate reapportionment proceedings in 2023 instead of 2022. The bill will now be heard in the Senate State & Local Government Committee, chaired by Sen. Robby Mills (R-Henderson).

As it is currently mandated, reapportionment of fiscal courts could result in changes to district lines after the May primary has passed and before the general election, potentially leaving some primary winners ineligible to run in November if they were moved to a different district as a result. HB 212 would prevent issues such as this from happening with the districts being redrawn after the current election cycle has concluded. The bill carries an emergency clause, and would go into effect immediately after its passage into law.

Savings for County Jail Budgets

Legislation was filed in both the House and Senate that would have a great cost-saving impact on county jail budgets. SB 81, sponsored by Sen. Phillip Wheeler (R- Pike), would provide that the state pays a fee to counties for lodging prisoners charged with a felony beginning on the date the prisoner is delivered to the jail and ending the day the prison is acquitted of the felony charges, or has judgment rendered otherwise involving no felony. Currently, counties are responsible for picking up all costs until an inmate is sentenced, which can take years.

HB 211, sponsored by House Local Government Chairman Michael Meredith (R- Warren) provides that the state reimburse for the amount of time an inmate serves in a jail county facility when the inmate is convicted of a felony. Commonly referred to as “credit for time served,” counties have long advocated for this expense to be paid by the state since the inmate receives credit against their state sentence imposed by the court for a state offense.

Opioid Settlement Funding Distribution

Boone County Judge/Executive Gary Moore testified on HB 92 before the House Standing Committee on Health and Family Services on Thursday. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Dan Bentley (R - Greenup County), expands the funding that will be distributed to counties as a part of opioid settlements. Counties have been greatly impacted by the opioid epidemic in a variety of ways, and this legislation ensures that local governments will continue to receive funding in any current or future opioid settlements.


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As always, please email shellie.hampton@kaco.org or gracie.lagadinos@kaco.org with any questions or feedback from legislators. We appreciate everything you do to help move counties forward.

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