February 20, 2019

What is home rule?

Section 156b of the Kentucky Constitution authorizes the General Assembly to grant broad home rule powers to cities, but does not require it. Fortunately, in 1980 the General Assembly did decide to grant broad home rule authority to all classes of cities through the adoption of KRS 82.082.  Prior to the enactment of the home rule statute, cities had no inherent right of self-government and depended almost exclusively upon specific acts of the General Assembly to authorize various functions.

Now, under KRS 82.082, a city may exercise any power or perform any function that is:

1) Within the boundaries of the city;

2) In furtherance of a public purpose of the city; and

3) Not in conflict with a constitutional provision or statute.

For a full explanation of the home rule principal, please see the City Officials Legal Handbook