Week nine of the legislative session concludes
Jail fee modernization bill awaits Senate vote
HB 590, sponsored by Rep. Michael Meredith, passed out of Senate committee this week and awaits a vote on the Senate floor.
The bill addresses funding discrepancies in relation to county jails. The legislation would amend state statute to require a prisoner in a county jail to begin paying fees from the prisoner's booking date, and it would require a jail to reimburse and waive fees if a prisoner is not convicted of any charges. Additionally, HB 590 would require the Department of Corrections to annually adjust the maximum room and board fee of $50 per day based on changes in the Consumer Price Index. Currently, the maximum fee is unable to be adjusted each year based on the economic climate.
HB 590 was passed out of the House by a 78-13 margin before it entered Senate proceedings.
County audit bill update
HB 588, sponsored by Rep. John Blanton, seeks to lower the audit costs for counties. In working with the state Auditor of Public Accounts on the issue, negotiations have resulted in the creation of an Outlier Audit Assistance Program for audits dating back to audits billed in FY19-20 and after. We are hopeful the bill will be addressed in committee next week.
State budget negotiations begin
Conference Committee members:
- House: A&R Chairman Petrie, A&R Vice chair Rep. Reed, Speaker Osborne, Rep. Meade, Majority Leader Rudy, Rep. Miles, Rep. McCoy, Minority Leader Jenkins, Rep. Graham, Rep. Hatton
- Senate: A&R Chairman McDaniel, President Stivers, Sen. Givens, Majority Leader Thayer, Sen. Raque Adams, Sen. Wilson, Minority Leader McGarvey, Sen. Thomas, Sen. Webb
The Judicial Branch Budget and Transportation budget are still awaiting passage in the Senate.
County clerk modernization bill receives full passage, awaits Governor’s signature
SB 135, sponsored by Sen. Jason Howell, seeks to accelerate the online availability of recorded instruments such as titles, deeds and mortgages. The legislation would amend state statute to designate 90 percent of funds held for the local records grant program be set aside and distributed as grants for county clerks, and that the $10 storage fee collected by county clerks shall be held for the exclusive purpose of providing funding for the permanent storage of recorded instruments.
The bill would appropriate $25 million from the state general fund to the Department of Local Government to provide grants to county clerks to establish and maintain portals for the electronic filing and searching of recorded instruments. It would also create an addition to state statute to allow for county clerks in counties with a population of less than 70,000 to receive an advancement to defray necessary official expenses.
SB 135 passed the Senate 34-0-3 and 93-1 in the House and has been delivered to the Gov. Andy Beshear.
Final legislative luncheon of the session a success
Thank you to all of the county officials who joined us in Frankfort yesterday for our final legislative luncheon of the 2022 regular session. We had a wonderful turnout of county leaders, legislators and staffers who took the time to talk about issues and enjoy lunch. Legislators are always grateful for the hospitality.
Legislative calendar dates to note
- March 21-25: final traditional week of session
- March 31 - April 12: Veto Days (all days except Sundays)
- April 13 - April 14: last two days of the 2022 Session