Kentucky Association of Counties

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The Kentucky Association of Counties

2021 Legislative Priorities

KACo's 2021 legislative priorities include transportation funding, broadband access and affordability, jail relief and more.

Download a copy of KACo’s 2021 Legislative Priorities HERE.

KACo's 2021 legislative priorities were released at the Interim Joint Committee on Local Government on Nov. 17, 2020 and includes solutions and approaches to the most serious issues facing counties.

1. Invest in transportation infrastructure 

The number one legislative issue in 2021 is transportation funding. In a recent poll of KACo officials, a third indicated that more than 40 percent of their county roads were in moderate to significant need of repair.

In the KACo poll, 91 percent agreed that the gas tax needs to be raised, with four out ten supporting at least a 10 cent increase.

KACo supports the following:

  • Increase the gas tax and other transportation-related fees; establish fees for electric vehicles.
  • Preserve the agreed-upon formula for distribution of funding to counties and cities.

2. Broadband access and affordability

Broadband access is essential to community and economic development. During the COVID-19 pandemic, as schools and business transitioned to a virtual format, a lack of access to broadband service became even more important. 

KACo supports the following:

  • Collaborate to find solutions to limited access to broadband.
  • Lower regulatory barriers to expanded broadband access.

3. Jail Relief

From 2011 to 2019, the total population in Kentucky grew by about two percent. Over the same period, county jail populations grew by more than 30 percent, having a significant impact on county budgets. Almost half of county officials in the KACo poll said that jail costs are the biggest pressure on their budgets. 

KACo supports the following:

  • Pursue positive criminal justice reform.
  • Expand access to substance abuse treatment.
  • Increase the state per diem rate.
  • Preserve the state appropriation to closed jails.

4. Opportunities to streamline and collaborate

KACo supports the following:

  • Transition Sheriff's budget from calendar year to the county fiscal year.
  • Develop foreclosure options for abandoned/blighted property. 

5. County revenue flexibility

KACo supports the following:

  • Allow countywide sales tax authority.
  • Support countywide revenue options and collection.



Kentucky Association of Counties
400 Englewood Drive Frankfort, KY 40601