Frankfort, KY—Representative Dennis Keene (D-Wilder), Chairman of the Kentucky House Licensing & Occupations Committee aims to save taxpayer dollars and streamline many of the functions currently being performed by the Commonwealth’s 120 county clerks. House Bill 325 will require a task force to develop ways to reduce inefficiencies in the clerks’ offices with record keeping and storage, provide for internet and kiosk renewals of licenses and permits and government and create efficiencies for taxpayers by removing barriers to securing licenses and documents currently provided by county clerks.
“Our system of licensing, permitting and recording keeping is archaic,” said Rep. Dennis Keene. “It is time to have a real conversation about how we can become more efficient and accessible to the public and businesses when they deal with local government. This bill will lead to the formation of a new way to streamline records and documents currently being kept at each county clerk’s office and helping the public to avoid unnecessary burden when it comes to licenses and permits. We have the ability to develop secure methods for electronic records and services and it is past time to take steps to reduce the size of government by seeking greater efficiencies.”
“We need to make sure that small businesses and entrepreneurs have the tools to succeed,” said Rep. Keene. “Our citizens and businesspeople should not have to travel from one city or county office to another to complete applications or secure permits. We also need to remove the mystery and uncertainty from the process of securing permits and licenses; citizens want to know what to expect. We can provide most everything online or in a centralized location,” added Keene.
Ohio and Indiana are two neighboring states that have moved towards online renewals and licensing applications. Ohio offers auto tag renewals at Kiosks in various locations including banks and supermarkets. Indiana has a pilot program currently underway where marriage license applications are available online.
“Costs continue to rise and unless we work together to find ways to consolidate and streamline our basic government functions, we become uncompetitive with respect to surrounding communities and states,” said Rep. Keene. “If we can reduce inefficiencies, divert more revenue to the state without raising taxes, we need to make it a priority to find a way to do it.”
On the local level, this measure does not abolish the position or office of the county clerk. Although it removes many of the current duties of the county clerk, some would remain including license plate issuing; motor vehicle registration, boat registration, issuing hunting license and certain election duties. Due to the decreased workload, less staff and space may be required. This will have a significant impact on the fees normally received by the county clerks’ offices, as the fees for the transferred duties will now be paid to the administrators and then remitted to the State Treasury