The Kentucky General Assembly will convene the 2022 Regular Session on January 4. Issues and items the Kentucky League of Cities (KLC) will advocate for during the 60-day session range from modernizing the state’s outdated road funding formula to addressing substance abuse.
Each year, the Kentucky League of Cities Board of Directors sets its legislative agenda. The 66 men and women who serve on the board represent cities and organizations that service cities from every region of the commonwealth. This year’s agenda is now in print and available online.
Revenue diversification again tops the priorities in 2022. Census data shows more people have migrated to Kentucky cities than ever. Municipalities face new challenges to pay for vital services. KLC will seek modernization of the state’s antiquated funding options and equalization of the few methods available to cities to fund services and community enhancements.
While there has been much discussion of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the federal government greatly restricts how cities can use these monies. Cities cannot simply use ARPA funds to pay for the growing cost of building and maintaining streets and bridges. It is imperative that Kentucky lawmakers address the state’s growing transportation needs and modernize the outdated funding formulas to reflect how Kentuckians live and travel in the 21st century.
Law enforcement training also ranks highly for KLC. Police departments struggle with financial and logistical issues due to the backlog at the Department of Criminal Justice Training (DOCJT). KLC seeks to expedite the training of new municipal law enforcement officers.
Delays in paramedic training and the inability of contracted private companies to keep up with community needs are putting citizens at risk. KLC will advocate for legislation that allows cities to obtain an emergency certificate of need from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services for ambulance service when a private provider cannot quickly respond to emergency calls. Additionally, KLC will seek a statewide assessment of the current educational infrastructure to determine if it can continue to keep up with the demand for paramedics.
Cities will continue to support legislation that addresses the substance abuse problem in Kentucky and the criminal aspects of drug trafficking. The League will also prioritize treatment, rehabilitation, and workforce reentry.