House panel advances two constitutional amendments

Share



FRANKFORT—The election of Kentucky’s Governor and other statewide officers would move to even-numbered years in 2024 under a proposed state constitutional amendment approved today by a House committee.

The proposed amendment in House Bill 23, sponsored by House Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee Chair Kenny Imes, R-Murray, would move the election of all statewide constitutional officers to even-numbered years starting in 2024 if the amendment is approved by Kentucky voters next fall. Terms of statewide constitutional officers elected next year – the Governor, Attorney General and others – would be extended by one year to accommodate the change under the amendment.

The move is expected to save the taxpayers a total of $13.5 million, with counties benefiting the most, said Imes.

Smaller counties like Calloway – which is Imes’ home county -- could save as much as $100,000 every four years while larger counties like Jefferson could save well over $1 million in the same period, Imes said.

“This costs the taxpayers of Kentucky, especially the counties, a tremendous amount of money. This would be a savings to the counties,” he said.

HB 23 is identical to 2017 HB 81, which proposed the change in the last regular session.

Another proposed constitutional amendment approved by the committee is HB 10, sponsored by Imes and Rep. Scott Wells, R-West Liberty. If ratified by voters next fall, the amendment would allow the General Assembly or its designee to “review, approve, or disapprove” any state regulation without delay. Disapproval of a regulation would make the regulation “void and unenforceable,” according to HB 10.

Currently, if a state regulations is found “deficient” by the statutory Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee or another legislative committee, the finding is not binding and the executive branch can still choose to put the regulation into effect.

Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, said the current process for regulation review is “pretty intense.” She said she is concerned the proposal overreaches. Imes disagreed.

“I think we need that authority and that independence, so that’s what I’m after,” he told the committee.

Both bills now go to the House for further consideration.