Bills consolidating school districts, counties proposed in House

01/29/2018 07:11 PM

FRANKFORT- Two bills aimed at saving money by consolidating counties and school districts have been introduced in the Kentucky House by Representative Toby Herald, R-Beattyville.

The first measure, House Bill 242, would reduce the number of school districts in the state from 173 to 55. The second, House Bill 243, would reduce the number of counties in the state from 120 to 55. Nineteen counties, including Jefferson and Fayette, would not be consolidated.

Reporter Don Weber spoke with Representative Herald about the bills and the potential impact.

House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins doesn’t believe this bill was well thought out, and says it would not be in the best interest of the state to mass consolidate.

Michon Lindstrom

Michon is a producer for Pure Politics. Michon comes to Kentucky from Springfield, Illinois where she served as the statehouse reporter for the NBC affiliate. During her time in the Land of Lincoln she covered the state’s two year budget impasse and the largest school funding overall in Illinois history. Pure Politics airs weeknights at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Michon on Twitter at @MichonLindstrom or reach her by email at



  • Ronald J. Ward wrote on January 29, 2018 09:41 PM :

    All that sounds good on paper and yeah, it’ll save a pile of money.

    The thing is, small town folk just don’t take kindly to being merged or consolidated or having those outsiders interfering with their schools and communities.

    But if our newly elected super-majority wants to poke that bear, well, we’ll see how it shakes out in November.

  • Ricky Lee Williams Jr. wrote on January 29, 2018 10:15 PM :

    I am for this concept that Rep. Toby Herald has proposed. This is a conversation starter, which I appreciate Toby taking all the initial hits for the other 130 cowards of the legislature. He deserves tremendous credit for this outside the box thinking.

    Friends, everyone knows these two bills are not going anywhere. But, everyone also knows that in the next 10 years this is going to come to fruition. The local governments are broke. Frankfort is broke, and even the United States government, which has a printing press, is broke. For as much as we bad mouth Washington, Washington has finally gotten tired of sending us money from other people, who made the tough choices and are self-sufficient, unlike our beloved Commonwealth. Our leaders have robbed our future generations of the needed resources. Some of it was due to incompetence, while just as much deals with the good ol’ boy system and corruption where all the funding was controlled and handed out to a select few. The chicken has come home to roost.

    Below, Rocky Adkins talks for 5 minutes. If you watch the clip more than once, he repeats himself over and over again, with no solutions to afford the system that he is trying to uphold, here in this clip. He is just not for it, he says. In his opinion, this isn’t good. He says the right people haven’t been included. I have known Rocky Adkins pretty much my whole life. Rocky Adkins and Hal Rogers are basically cut from the same cloth. They like to spend other people’s money. Rocky Adkins has made a fortune being a politician. I really don’t know what else he would be, if he wasn’t a politician. He would probably be broke like the rest of us. The thing about Rocky Adkins and Hal Rogers is similar to the ending of the movie “The Wizard of Oz”. When you look behind the curtain, there isn’t anything there. When other people’s money dries up, they don’t have anymore ideas. And, that is Kentucky in a nutshell. We have abused the welfare system. We have abused the social security system. We have abused every federal grant appropriation. We have abused the coal severance tax. We have robbed every fund that was set up in good faith, and now we have nothing to show for it. The only people who have gotten retirements are the ones Rocky Adkins put on the state payroll. So, now we have to stand behind our promise to pay Rocky’s friends, in good faith, but we can’t keep allowing Rocky’s pay for votes, to keep going.

    Gov. Bevin did not cause this crisis. Rocky Adkins did. Rocky Adkins’ method of putting people on the state payroll got us where we are. Hal Rogers sending pork home got us where we are. They put every insider overseeing these important programs that had no business being in any leadership role. Our community college system had the highest paid president in the country, and we got nothing in return. We put Jim Ramsey in Louisville to oversee that. The same thing happened. The insiders stole all the money. The cream was taken from the top by the democrat machine. Kentucky is the most corrupt state in America, and the democrats are thinking about running Rocky Adkins for governor. When are we going to learn from our past mistakes? Rocky Adkins was all over Keith Hall’s federal trial, and you want to run him for governor?

    I want to give tremendous credit to Sen. Joe Bowen. Not only today, but throughout his career, Joe Bowen has stood for what is right and said what he thought needed to be said. There are very few political leaders, who I admire, but Joe Bowen is one of those. I may not always agree with him, but he did not sell his soul to get elected. Sen. Bowen has announced that he is not running for re-election. He is trying his best to leave Frankfort on a high note and to get as much dialogue and substance in on this pension reform, before our pending vote. He stood up today, like many days before, and told it like it is. Every senator, both democrat and republican, had to be sitting there wondering what it would take to have that kind of courage, to lead in a time where it is so difficult to stand up and tell the truth and not be a coward, like so many of them are. They worry more about getting re-elected than they do about doing what is right for their constituents. They have proven that these first 18 days of the session. I just want to say. Thank you Sen. Bowen for all that you do. I just want you to know that people do recognize the players from the pretenders. RL

  • Heza Putz wrote on January 30, 2018 08:53 AM :

    The chances of passage are slim to none and Slim just left Sandy Hook and went to Ohio. Kentucky has salaried jailers with benefits who don’t have jails to run for cryin’ out loud.

  • Ricky Lee Williams Jr. wrote on January 30, 2018 09:37 AM :

    I think we should do away with the Jailer position and put that duty with the elected Sheriff.. There is so many ways to save money in these local communities but no one wants to do it. I am not trying to take anyone’s job. All I am saying is we need more employees in other areas of government. All one has to do is look at the position we are paying for that is not needed today , or that could easily be contracted out at a great savings to the tax payer. RL

  • Ricky Lee Williams Jr. wrote on January 30, 2018 10:36 AM :

    And do we really need a county clerk ? How easy would it be to combined the county clerk in with the circuit clerk’s office or PVA ? Its all about managing people at the end of the day. Circuit clerks and PVA have to take a test now. So , they should be wise enough to be able to run that office that doesn’t require much education to run. That would save over $100,000 × 120 counties.. RL

  • Honest Parley wrote on January 30, 2018 10:59 AM :

    57 counties are home to 83% of Kentucky’s population. 63 counties, all of which have 20,000 or fewer residents, are home to 17% of Kentucky’s population. There are 7 counties in Kentucky that have 20,000 or fewer residents that do not border a county with more than 20,000 residents.

    There are logical mergers in which county’s share common historic, cultural and economic traits, and there are county mergers that would not make sense at all. Take for example Taylor and Marion counties. A merger here would be complete nonsense given that there’s a figurative wall between these two neighboring communities not much unlike the wall between the Israelis and the Palestinians. On the other hand, a merger between Marion and Washington counties would make all sense, especially if you combined those two with Nelson. Taylor would make sense merged with Casey and Adair or Larue.

    The bottom line is this: we should have 40 merged local governments, counties should be allowed to retain their county names and identities, and school districts should be allowed to do the same. County Clerk offices should be abolished, with elections being conducted by the State Board of elections in partnership with merged local governments, motor vehicle issues being managed by a centralized Department of Motor Vehicles, and property records being managed by the elected Property Valuation Administrator. Elected jailers, constables, and coroners should go the way of the 8-track tape.

    We can’t afford 120 local governments and it makes no sense that we have more counties per capita than any other state. It makes no sense that we are third in number of counties to Texas and Georgia, two states with populations 4-6 times Kentucky’s.

    We must say, we never would have thought a consolidation proposal would originate in Beattyville. Shame on us.

  • Heza Putz wrote on January 30, 2018 11:18 AM :

    Gravel gravel who’s got the gravel….Hey, maybe that’s why they call him Rocky?

  • Ricky Lee Williams Jr. wrote on January 30, 2018 11:35 AM :

    Honest Parley , I posted your well thought out idea on my facebook page. I gave you credit for your ideas and said I concur.. I don’t see much happening in near future but I got good feed back last night from my post. I think the public is at least willing to have a discussion of how to save revenue and keep as many programs as that saved money will free up. These smaller counties are already in a world of hurt. Hope all is well. RL

  • Ricky Lee Williams Jr. wrote on January 30, 2018 12:10 PM :

    In Grant County, politics get weird as leaders look to keep jail open. By Scott Wartman.

  • Heza Putz wrote on January 30, 2018 12:42 PM :

    Grant County is where good thing go to die.

  • Cat Balz wrote on January 30, 2018 04:48 PM :

    They had to shut down the Grant County jail because they couldn’t afford to feed all of Bill Adkins’ clients who checked in but couldn’t check out.

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