House passes HB 190 in a unanimous vote
Unification clarification awaits approval from state Senate
The Kentucky House of Representatives passed House Bill 190 Wednesday in a unanimous 94-0 vote.
The bill’s primary goal was to clarify the language of the existing unification law, said Luke Schmidt, consultant for Hardin County United.
Introduced by Rep. Jimmie Lee, D-Elizabethtown, and co-sponsored by Rep. Tim Moore, R-Elizabethtown, HB 190 ensures a city will be exempt from joining unified government if the majority of its residents vote against unification.
Rep. Darryl Owens, D-Louisville, and Rep. Arnold Simpson, D-Covington, also co-sponsored the bill, according to a news release.
Schmidt said this was a problem identified when HCU began presentations to county residents last fall. The organization has been adamant a city’s majority vote would be respected, he said.
The bill now moves to the state Senate, and Lee said Thursday the senate will hear its own bills first before it reviews those passed by the House.
“I don’t think we should start to worry if they don’t begin discussing it immediately,” he said.
Lee said it’s notable the bill passed unanimously in the House, adding it appears there is enough interest across the state in exploring the unification tool.
Schmidt said the 94-0 vote in the House is a “terrific margin,” which he sees as indicative of bipartisan support in the state legislature.
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