Stivers to continue leadership on local annexation as task force member
Senate President Robert Stivers will serve as a member of the newly formed Local Government Annexation Task Force.
Annexation is the process by which incorporated cities in Kentucky physically expand their boundaries. It is primarily done through consensual or non-consensual annexation. In consensual annexation, landowners agree in writing to be annexed by the city.
A significant development resulting from the 2023 Legislative Session was an annexation agreement between the state's largest county and city organizations—the Kentucky League of Cities (KLC) and the Kentucky Association of Counties (KACo).
Stivers played an instrumental role in crafting Senate Bill 141, sponsored by Senator Amanda Mays Bledsoe, and bringing KACo and KLC together in compromise.
Senate Bill 141 allows annexations that had begun before March 1, 2023, to continue and will place a moratorium on all annexations until July 1, 2024, with some exceptions. Additionally, the measure gives standing to county governments to file suit if they believe a city violates the moratorium, requiring the lawsuit be filed within 45 days of the annexation's completion. It requires the city to notify the judge/executive of an annexation's completion in writing. Without the county's consent, the bill prohibits any annexation involving school property before July 1, 2024. Finally, the bill established the Local Government Annexation Task Force to identify a long-term solution to this issue, which often places cities and counties in adversarial positions
About the Local Government Annexation Task Force
The task force will study the required city annexation methods. In addition, it will review the beneficial and deleterious effects of city annexation on taxation, economic development, provision and sustainability of water, gas, electric, sewer, and other utility services, police protection, fire protection, and emergency services from the perspective of local governments and residents. The task force will also recommend statutory law changes resulting from discussions.
"Just as I felt we had to bring the city and county representatives together to develop a plan agreeable to both sides and find a temporary solution, I think we now need to bring all stakeholders together to determine a more permanent solution," Stivers said. "This issue needs a final remedy, and I look forward to the good faith effort by all parties involved to help us get there."
Task Force Members
Sen. Robby Mills, Co-Chair (R - Henderson, Hopkins, Union, Webster counties)
Rep. Jonathan Dixon, Co-Chair (R - Henderson County)
Sen. Michael J. Nemes (R - Bullitt, Jefferson counties)
Sen. Robert Stivers (R - Clay, Jackson, Knox, McCreary, Owsley, Whitley counties)
Sen. Phillip Wheeler (R - Elliott, Johnson, Lawrence, Martin, Pike counties)
Sen. David Yates (D - Jefferson County)
Rep. Randy Bridges (R - Livingston, McCracken counties)
Rep. Beverly Chester-Burton (D - Jefferson County)
Rep. Michael Meredith (R - Edmonson, Warren counties)
Rep. Michael Sarge Pollock (R - Marion, Taylor counties)
The Legislative Research Commission (LRC) formed additional special committees to conduct business over the interim period and include the Jail and Corrections Reform Task Force, the Multimodal Freight Transportation System Improvement Task Force, the Certificate of Need Task Force, the Health and Human Services Delivery System Task Force, the Lottery Trust Fund Task Force and the Task Force on School and Campus Security.
Each task force will submit its findings and recommendations to the Legislative Research Commission by December 4.
Task force meetings will be live-streamed via the LRC YouTube Channel and ket.org/legislature. Archived footage of committee meetings can be accessed at KET.org/legislature/archives and on the LRC YouTube Channel. Follow the LRC Legislative Calendar for task force meeting information.