Hundreds of Kentucky city officials traveled to Frankfort on Wednesday for the Kentucky League of Cities annual City Day/City Night event. The occasion allows KLC members to interact with legislators and advocate for issues and measures important to cities.
“It’s nice to see everyone in person this morning,” KLC Executive Director/CEO J.D. Chaney told the Board of Directors at their annual breakfast meeting. “We have an important day ahead with four initiatives headed to the floor for votes and another in committee. It’s great to have you all here in support of these important measures.”
House Speaker David Osborne (R-Prospect) addressed the board and complimented KLC on its advocacy efforts. He discussed top priorities in the House. “Expect things to be a little different this year, and expect to see the budget on an accelerated pace,” he stated.
Osborne commented on the House-proposed budget, which allocates additional General Fund dollars to the road plan, including $50 million for cities. The speaker also talked about his support for House Bill 475. The KLC initiative would amend an outdated section of the Kentucky Constitution so the General Assembly could establish a framework for comprehensive local tax reform.
Senate State and Local Government Chair Robby Mills (R-Henderson) also spoke to the board. He cited the Senate’s work to provide relief funds for western Kentucky cities impacted by December tornadoes. Mills also addressed concerns about inflated car values and spoke about the Senate redistricting plan.
Mills said senators were excited to get the budget early and described their current efforts as “deliberate” and “thoughtful.” He added, “I think you’ll see us end our budget with a fairly healthy reserve so we can handle issues that come before us in the next couple of years as we ween ourselves off of federal pandemic monies that are flowing down to us.”
Mayfield Mayor and KLC Board member Kathy O’Nan thanked KLC members for their response after the December 10 deadly tornadoes. “It is an honor to belong to this family,” O’Nan said. “KLC has certainly answered every call we’ve given. They have answered it before the question is asked.” She spoke about the outpouring of support and pledges for assistance from cities across the state. “You promised things before I even knew they were needed. You continue to support us and every city hit by this devastation. From the bottom of my heart, from Mayfield, Kentucky, I thank each of you for everything you’ve done for us.”
KLC members met with legislators, attended hearings in the Capitol Annex, and concluded the day with the City Night reception at the Kentucky History Center. “City Day and City Night are wonderful reminders of how important KLC is,” said KLC President and Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott. “We spent the day together advocating for what is important to our cities. It was a successful day, with three key bills clearing the House, one passing the Senate, and another making it through committee. I am grateful to the members who joined us today and for the opportunity to gather with colleagues and old friends. It makes you proud to be a part of this great organization.”