President Stivers and Speaker Osborne addressed county judge/executives, magistrates and commissioners during the opening luncheon at the KCJEA/KMCA Joint Summer Conference at the Marriott Griffin Gate in Lexington on Wednesday, June 26.
Stivers emphasized the important role counties play in economic and workforce development for their community.
"It's all about creating jobs," Stivers said. "Because if you don't have jobs people will go to places that do."
He also challenged county officials to take the lead in recruiting new businesses.
"You're going to have to start thinking of new ways to promote your county." Stivers said.
Osborne also spoke about the commitment to bring jobs to Kentucky.
"We stay committed to the pro-business agenda we brought in three years ago," said Osborne. "In the last three years, there have been more jobs created and more investment in business than ever before."
Osborne recognized that there are several obstacles for counties doing business that haven't been easy to resolve, such as the sustainability of jail costs and the uncertainty of county health department pension contributions. He commented briefly on the possibility of a special session to pass legislation to keep contribution rates from skyrocketing for health departments and other quasi-governmental agencies.
"While I am confident that we'll come to a solution, understand that we've been working on this since we froze contribution rates in 2018." said Osborne.
Stivers and Osborne both shared their insight on county collaboration. Osborne got a rise out of the crowd when he quipped about county consolidation.
"I would never advocate for consolidating counties," Osborne said. "But it is time to talk about consolidating services. We need to provide services more efficiently."
They suggested taking a holistic approach to providing county services that promotes cooperation across county lines.