Sixty day legislative session continues at fast pace
Elections clean up bill passes committee hurdle
A bill seeking to address lingering issues on elections in Kentucky has passed out of committee. HB 564, sponsored by Rep. Josh Branscum, covers a wide array of provisions related to voting, including no-excuse absentee voting on the Thursday, Friday or Saturday immediately preceding an election day; the location at which the voter may cast his or her vote must be open eight hours between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. as determined by the county board of elections in each county; requirements and options of voter identification; security of voting machines and more.
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HB 260 seeks to reinforce the accurate assessment of property values
HB 260, sponsored by Reps. Randy Bridges, Shawn McPherson and William Lawrence, would amend state statute to ensure that proper appraisal practices are being used in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
The bill reinforces the roles and abilities of Property Valuation Administrators in relation to valuing buildings and land owned by big box stores. These stores have allegedly compared dissimilar properties in tax appeal appraisals to their advantage, falsely claiming that vacant, closed properties are comparable to active, vibrant on-going businesses. This is commonly referred to as the “dark store theory” of appraisal.
Bill including fiscal court options on library district board appointments advances
SB 167, sponsored by Sens. Philip Wheeler and Johnnie Turner, addresses an historic issue for fiscal courts on library district board appointments. Current law requires county judge/executives, with fiscal court approval, to choose appointees from a list sent by the state Department for Libraries and Archives (DLA) - with no input from the fiscal court.
The bill will provide county judge/executives with the option to either continue to choose an appointee from the DLA list, or to appoint members with the approval of the fiscal court when filling vacancies or creating a new district. SB 167 would require approval of both the library board and the fiscal court on expenditures for leasing or capital construction projects with a total cost of $500,000 or more, providing more oversight of tax dollars by elected officials.
The legislation also adds language expanding the use of library buildings by educational institutions.
SB 167 is currently awaiting a Senate floor vote.
Last week to file new House and Senate bills
This week was the final week to file new House and Senate bills, with a total of 783 House bills and 382 Senate bills filed for the 2022 Regular Session. Moving forward, the KACo legislative team will be keeping a close eye on amendments and committee substitutes as the session continues.