Legislation Preempting Local Housing Decision-Making Clears Senate

On Wednesday, the Kentucky Senate took a step to preempt local control with a bill meant to protect property rights.

Senate Bill 25, sponsored by Sen. Steve West, R-Paris, cleared the full Senate with a 30 to 6 vote down party lines.

West told the Senate the bill was preemptive to local governments as a “protection of property rights.”

KLC spoke against the legislation last week as the bill was heard in the Senate State and Local Government Committee. KLC’s Board of Directors voted to oppose the legislation at their most recent board meeting because it conflicts with local decision-making at the local level.

The bill comes as the Lexington-Fayette Urban City Council has indicated they will debate an ordinance forcing landlords to accept Section 8 vouchers.

Several legislators spoke against the bill on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday, including Sen. Cassie Chambers Armstrong, D-Louisville, who previously served on Metro Council, which passed a similar source of income protection with a unanimous vote.

“A vote for this bill is a vote against local control,” Chambers Armstrong said.

Armstrong also said that by passing the law, the state legislature now owns this issue under the doctrine of implied preemption. “If we pass this bill today, we own the space; we own the consequences.”

Sen. David Yates, D-Louisville, agreed, stating, “I’m for limited government and local control.”

The legislation now makes its way to the House of Representatives for its consideration. A similar House bill cleared the House of Representatives on Tuesday with a 74-20 vote.