Legislation to bring more oversight and transparency to the state’s area development districts, entities using state and federal dollars on aging programs, employment services and workforce investment, received final passage when it passed the Senate on consent Monday night.
House Bill 189, co-sponsored by Republican Rep. Jim DeCesare of Bowling Green and Democratic Rep. Susan Westrom of Lexington, seeks to place more accountability 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.
The transparency legislation contains provisions to:
- Ban bonuses or any other one-time payments to any ADD employee.
- Protect “whistleblowers” in accordance with state law.
- Require advertising of an open executive director position with adequate notice and sufficient time for interested candidates to apply.
- Require the ADDs to follow federal and state procurement statutes and regulations.
- Require review of all 15 ADDs within the next four years, to determine if their policies and internal controls are adequate. Further examinations would follow if necessary.
House Bill 189 now heads to the Governor’s desk for signature. Get more details on the bill here.