House passes area development district transparency legislation overwhelmingly

Legislation to bring more oversight and transparency to the state’s area development districts, entities using state and federal dollars on aging programs and employment services, passed the House Tuesday with a 92-6 vote.

House Bill 438, sponsored by Rep. Susan Westrom of Lexington, seeks to place more scrutiny on the spending and programming of the state’s 15 area development districts (ADDs) and require additional financial reporting. The bill also brings the ADDs under the same oversight rules that have long governed other state agencies and local governments.

In a press conference about the bill, Westrom highlighted that the bill:

  • Bans bonuses or any other one-time payments to any ADD employee.
  • Protects “whistleblowers” in accordance with state law.
  • Requires advertising of an open executive director position with adequate notice and sufficient time for interested candidates to apply.
  • Requires the ADDs to follow federal and state procurement statutes and regulations.

Read more about the details on what drove Westrom to introduce the bill and video coverage on Bottom Line here.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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