Efforts to reform the laws concerning more than 1,000 special taxing districts are quickly moving in Frankfort this week.
The reforms were filed as House Bill 1 today (Tuesday) and compromise a partnership between Auditor Adam Edelen and House Speaker Greg Stumbo. It would create an online registry to list the special districts and their required financial paperwork.
It would also re-designate them as special purpose governmental entities. The registry will be paid for initially with a special appropriation through the governor's office, then supplemented by fees on the special districts.
Edelen says the quick path the bill is expected to take shows that Frankfort can work to together on meaningful reforms.
"You know for all of those naysayers who believe that Frankfort is not a place where big problems can be solved, where the parties are too stratified to come together, I would suggest House Bill 1 is an example of what happens in this town when we get it right," Edelen says.
The bill is likely to quickly move through the state House and to the state Senate, where Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer supports the reforms.
"Special districts, an issue whose time has come and it is my hope that we can get this bill to the governor for his signature by the time this session ends next month," Thayer says.
Supporters of the bill say they aren't aware of any solidified opposition to the reforms, which have support from many of the special districts themselves.