House/Senate ‘Property Rights’ Bills Combined

Two KLC-opposed bills have been combined and put on the fast track to becoming law. 

House Bill 18, which passed the House of Representatives 74-20, and Senate Bill 25, which cleared the Senate 30-6, have now been blended under the House version of the bill and passed through the Senate State and Local Government Committee on Wednesday. 

The combination of the legislation seeks to address a draft ordinance before the Lexington-Fayette Urban City Council seeking to ban source of income discrimination, i.e., forcing landlords to accept Section 8 vouchers. 

Lawmakers on the Senate committee bucked the idea that the law conflicts with local decision-making at the local level. 

Rep. Ryan Dotson, R-Winchester, said the intent is to preempt the proposed Lexington ordinance to “ensure property owners have their rights.”

“[It’s] not a local control issue. This is a property rights issue,” Dotson said on Wednesday.

Sen. Steve West told the committee that the legislation combines the two bills to add Section 8/Housing Choice Vouchers and other forms of federal assistance from being mandated to be accepted by local ordinance. 

Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer told the committee there is an agreement to pass the House version of the bill, which he said “will pass the Senate and come back to the House.” He said if the governor vetoes the legislation, the legislature will override the veto.

“We’re not going to force people to take below fair market value in Kentucky,” Thayer said. 

The KLC Board of Directors voted to oppose House Bill 18 because it conflicts with local decision-making at the local level.

The legislation passed the Senate State and Local Government Committee with a 6-3 vote.

The legislation now heads to the full Senate for consideration.