Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Clerks 3: The Firing

The whole mess over Rowan County, Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis and her refusal to issue marriage licenses has at least one lawmaker here in the Commonwealth asking questions about whether or not the state's 120 County Clerk offices need as much funding if they're not going to do their jobs.

“While there are very many accommodations available, the very simple accommodation I have proposed is to remove my name and my title as the clerk of Rowan County completely off the marriage license,” Davis said. “These licenses can be issued under another authority, including perhaps the Commonwealth of Kentucky or Gov. (Steve) Beshear himself.” 
There doesn’t appear to be much objection to granting her accommodations, but one lawmaker said the authorities that take over issuance of marriage licenses would likely claim the $35 filing fee for themselves. 
“That’s the first thing that will come up, is the money issue,” said state Rep. Dennis Keene (D-Wilder). “Be careful what you wish for.” 
Keene said most of the state’s 120 county clerk offices are “always strapped for cash,” so cutting that revenue stream could lead to salary reductions, layoffs or other budget adjustments
If they choose not to perform those duties, they should not be paid,” he said. 
Keene said the Kentucky County Clerks Association, which has endorsed the removal of clerks’ names from marriage licenses, is a powerful lobbying organization that would no doubt fight any attempts to cut funding to their offices. 
“I can guarantee a lot of clerks would be jumping up and down over that,” Keene said.

Somehow I don't think there's going to be a whole lot of support for using state taxpayer money to pay state workers to not work around here,  We'll see what happens when lawmakers come back to work in Frankfort, but budget cuts for County Clerk's offices seems like they might be in the cards.

You can start with Rowan County.

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