Committees Pass 8 KLC initiatives

Various legislative committees passed more than half a dozen KLC initiatives on Wednesday, including measures that provide city efficiencies, support independence of the County Employees Retirement System (CERS) and ensure high standards for law enforcement.

The House Local Government Committee took up five KLC initiatives, including House Bill 267. KLC worked with the Kentucky Association of Counties (KACo) and Representative Adam Koenig (R-Erlanger) on the measure to ensure constables who make arrests, pull over drivers and file criminal charges receive law enforcement training.

Out of the state’s 500-plus constables, only two have Peace Officer Professional Standards (POPS) certification, which police officers and sheriff’s deputies must receive.

House Bill 267 helps constables receive the training by allowing them to apply to any Kentucky Law Enforcement Council-certified basic training course. The bill also requires the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training (KDOCJT) to accept at least one constable in each training class, provided he or she meets the same qualifications as police officers and sheriff’s deputies. The Kentucky Law Enforcement Foundation Program Fund would cover the cost of the DOCJT course.

The bill grandfathers current constables and deputy constables, waives administrative fees in counties with 70,000 or fewer residents, and delays implementation until January 1, 2023.

KLC Director of Public Affairs Bryanna L. Carroll stressed to committee members that the bill does not stop constables from serving their communities. “The bill keeps the powers and duties of a constable as laid out when the position was created in 1850,” she said. Additionally, constables could still direct traffic, provide funeral escorts, serve processes and perform other duties. “We are focused on the police officer powers,” Koenig stated. Carroll added, “This bill will simply ensure those who are able to infringe upon your personal rights are trained law enforcement.”

The House Local Government Committee also passed the following on Wednesday:

  • Senate Bill 66, sponsored by Senator John Schickel (R-Union), addresses the need for background checks for employees and volunteers at youth camps and requires the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to promulgate administrative regulations specifically for the operation and maintenance of youth day camps, separate from residential camps.
  • Senate Bill 88, sponsored by Senator Phillip Wheeler (R-Pikeville), permits municipalities to submit forms either in paper or electronic format when filing a boundary change with the Secretary of State’s Office.
  • Senate Bill 171, sponsored by Senator Wil Schroder (R-Wilder), requires the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to promulgate administrative regulations for the operation of splash pads and spray parks and gives cities the ability to invest in more low-risk funds.
  • Senate Bill 105, sponsored by Senator Robby Mills (R-Henderson), establishes a process for conservatorship for abandoned, blighted and deteriorated properties. Read more on Senate Bill 105 here.

The House Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection Committee passed Senate Bill 80, a KLC initiative that strengthens Kentucky’s decertification law for police. Read more on Senate Bill 80 here.

Additionally, the Senate State and Local Government Committee passed House Bill 9 and House Bill 238. Representative Russell Webber (R-Shepherdsville) filed House Bill 9, follow-up legislation to last year’s #freeCERS bill. Read more on House Bill 9 here. Representative DJ Johnson (R-Owensboro) sponsored House Bill 238 to help cities find the most knowledgeable and skilled people to serve on utility commissions.

The bills passed by committees on Wednesday will now move to their respective chamber for consideration.