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Special Taxing Districts Reform Sails Through Kentucky State House

A bill reforming how the state's special districts are categorized and making them more transparent easily passed the state House this morning, 96-1.

State Rep. Lynn Belcher, a Republican from Crittenden County, was the lone "no" vote.

Many local library boards, sewer districts and fire districts are considered special taxing districts separate from other types of government.

House Bill 1 is a partnership between Auditor Adam Edelen and House Speaker Greg Stumbo. It helps create a central registry of special districts as well as reforms how they file their financial information and sets penalties when they fail to do so.

Speaking on the House floor, Stumbo said the bill wasn't created due to bad actors.

"This is not an act in response to bad conduct. This is an act that compliments good conduct," he said.

The bill now heads to the Senate, where Senate President Robert Stivers says his chamber is still reviewing the bill before it commits to keeping it as is or tweaking it.

In a statement after the bill passed, Edelen said he appreciates the bipartisan support the bill received.

"I'm pleased House Bill 1 passed with broad bipartisan support today. That it has moved through the House so swiftly speaks to the overwhelming need to bring transparency and accountability to a $2.7 billion layer of government. I encourage the Senate to give similar treatment to this important legislation and deliver to taxpayers the reform that they deserve."

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