Customized City Classification Fact Sheets for Each City- From KLC Research!

City Classification Reform Summary and Reference Sheet Now Available
Find everything you need to know about House Bill 331 here!

You can also view and download your city's CUSTOMIZED City Classification information sheet.    Go here, click on your city in the drop down menu and click on "City Classification Fact Sheet."

One of the top legislative priorities for the Kentucky League of Cities was approved by the General Assembly through the passage of House Bill 331, which was KLC’s initiative to reform the classification system.  Beginning January 1, 2015, the arbitrary classification system with six classifications will change to two classes:  First Class and Home Rule cities (all other cities).  Lexington will be a Home Rule city but maintain all responsibilities and privileges under their urban-county statutes.  Louisville will continue to exercise the powers of the first class city by virtue of being a consolidated local government.

Download the SUMMARY AND REERENCE SHEET.  You can find detailed information about each law impacted by House Bill 331 here. 

KLC Research & Federal Relations Manager, Joseph Coleman, has taken on the huge task of preparing customized city classification sheets for each city.  KLC members can View or download your city's individualized fact sheet here.     Click on your city in the drop down menu, click on "City Classification Fact Sheet."    

Why was this major reform necessary?  For too long, city governments struggled with the restrictions and red tape from an outdated classification system created with the 1891 Kentucky Constitution.  The scheme of six classes set by population standards affected more than 400 laws, including those impacting alcohol beverage control, revenue options and public safety.  More than one-third of Kentucky cities were not in a classification that matched its population requirements and the granting of home rule authority in 1980 largely removed the necessity for such a complex classification system.  Moreover, the voters of Kentucky recognized the need for changing the system when they approved a constitutional amendment in 1994 permitting the General Assembly to create a new classification system.  

The complex bill was developed after tedious study and analysis.  KLC President and Midway Mayor Tom Bozarth chaired a city classification task force of city officials from across the state representing cities of all classes and population.  For two years, the task force studied the laws impacted by classification requirements and then developed a legislative proposal.  After the KLC Board of Directors approved their recommended approach, KLC staff worked over the next two years with Representative Steve Riggs (D-Jeffersontown), who serves as the Chair of the House Local Government Committee, and Legislative Research Commission staff to draft House Bill 331, which was 379 pages. 

The end result was House Bill 331, which passed the legislature the first year it was filed.  This was no small feat, but was made possible because of the extensive effort taken to educate city officials and legislators about the necessity and the effect of the legislation.  . 

Below is an overview of the legislation. 

House Bill 331 Recap

Once a city acquires and exercises an authority based on population, the city will not lose authority if population changes as the result of a subsequent census. Population based distinctions under the classification system affect the following areas: