From House Bill 366 to House Bill 200 and back again, language on public notice advertising ended up in House Bill 366. It was called the Revenue, or Tax, Bill and much as been written about the legislation. In imposes a new sales tax on at least 17 services and groups across the state are calling for Governor Matt Bevin to veto the legislation. He has reportedly said he is not happy with either HB 200 containing the State Budget or HB 366 that contains revenue provisions to help balance the budget. But has not said if he will veto either or parts of HB 200 and HB 366.
As for public notice advertising, there are two sections in HB 366 that cover school districts and some counties and cities.
As for school districts, it’s much the same language as we’ve seen since 2002 that would allow school districts to publish their financial statements and school report cards (1) in the newspaper OR (2) by putting the complete financial statement on the school district’s website OR (3) by placing a copy at the main branch of the local public library. If either (2) or (3) is the school district’s method it must publish an ad in the local newspaper qualified under KRS 424, notifying the public of the URL address of the exact location of the information on the district’s website or by publishing the address of the local public library.
An early version of HB 200 that then moved language to HB 366 would have allowed ALL counties and cities in the Commonwealth to publish their audits, ordinances and bid solicitations on the county or city website instead of in the newspaper.
Sen. Chris McDaniel, who has tried to take away public notices from newspapers since he came into office in 2013, has been wanting to take care of all the small cities and independent school districts in Kenton County. He also has wanted to let Boone and Campbell counties benefit from that because of the number of small towns in both of those counties.
While he’s tried to make his public notice language include every city, county, school district and other public agency in the state, he had also tried to make the provisions effective for only counties of 100,000 population or more. All of those efforts died even though he serves as chair of the Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee.
With HB 366, when he realized committee members were not going to accept language that would effect every county and every city in the state, he changed strategy. And to make sure he included Campbell County, he lowered the 100,000 population to 90,000. The population is based on the 2010 U.S. Census. That statistic barely brought in Campbell County with some 90,336 residents in 2010.
As approved by the House and Senate, though only by narrow margins, the 90,000 language includes with of Kentucky’s 120 counties — Boone, Campbell, Daviess, Fayette, Hardin, Jefferson, Kenton and Warren counties. KPA continues monitoring the future of HB 366 and has not given up on changes being made when it returns Friday, April 13, or introducing new legislation that would take care of the problem. When two pieces of legislation are in conflict over language, the last one approved by both chambers takes precedence.