Unfortunately, the major source of revenue for the KY. League of Cities is dues from its member cities. It is tax money, but it has already been paid to the cities and then paid to KLC. They also receive substantial revenue from selling insurance packages to the member cities and from "training" that they claim to do for city officials. This "training" is mandated by KRS 65.320 and the city employees receiving the training can get salary increases for being "trained". We all know this "training" is substandard and training usually means a few days in the big city, room and meals at a nice hotel, partying every night, while away from their desk. All at taxpayer expense. I don't think the General Assembly can do much about "defunding" them, but they can remove the authority to train city employees and they can remove the salary increases for receiving KLC training. Without that, I doubt cities will be buying much of the KLC's products and some cities may consider withdrawing their membership. Certainly, our legislators can refuse to listen to any requests to repeal KRS 65.870. Here again, we need to tell our legislators what we want. Ky. League of Cities will be telling them what they want. If that is the only message they hear the outcome will not please any of us. We need to start NOW with repeated letters, emails and phone calls. Educate them on the problems before KLC gets a head start.
The entire issue of firearms preemption is going to be contested in this year's legislative session. We all need to contact our legislators and tell them we want preemption to remain as it is or improved. KRS 65.870 was passed 27 years ago. Most legislators don't even know that it exists, why it was passed or what it says. They weren't around back then. We need to explain it to them and get ready for a fight. KLC will have paid, full time lobbyist and lawyers working on this.
If you don't know the history of KRS 65.870, I'll give a brief history lesson. Cities are created by the state and receive a charter to operate. This charter can be revoked. I doubt it has ever happened. Prior to 1980, cities in Ky. were not allowed to do much of anything. They were only allowed to do the things that the General Assembly had passed a statute saying they could do. As cities got bigger and government became more complicated this caused problems and city and county governments wanted more freedom to act on their own. In 1980 the General Assembly passed "Home Rule", which allowed city and county governments to manage their own affairs. They were then allowed to do whatever they wanted to do except a few things that were prohibited to them by state statute. Immediately, cities and counties all over Ky. started passing gun control laws. Each city and county passed different laws and they were all conflicting with one another. A person who drove from Lexington to Louisville passed through about 10 different jurisdictions with different laws. If that person had been bird hunting and had put his shotgun in the trunk of his car, he probably broke the law in several of those jurisdictions. Several people were arrested and convicted of crimes. People began to complaint to their state legislators about this intolerable situation and in 1984 the General Assembly passed KRS 65.870 and prohibited all local gun ordinances. We need to explain this to our legislators and tell them we don't want to go back to that. In fact, we need to strengthen KRS 65.870 by putting in penalties for violating it. Some cities and counties have refused to comply for the last 27 years. The Ky. constitution is clear. The right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed. Cities and counties can not be trusted to respect that. Laws that change every time we cross an invisible line on a map are unjust. KRS 65.870 has worked well for 27 years the only problems were the cities that refused to comply with it.