FRANKFORT – A bill sponsored by Sen. Johnny Ray Turner, D-Prestonsburg, that will allow county law library trustees in counties that fund the county law library to purchase equipment and to house materials and equipment in a Court of Justice facility, is headed to the Governor’s desk.
“Senate Bill 98 modernizes the law with regard to county law libraries,” Sen. Turner said. “Currently, the trustees are restricted to buying books or reports, and cannot purchase equipment. This legislation changes that by allowing the money to be spent on purchasing equipment, such as Wi-Fi sound equipment, hearing impaired equipment or anything that would be beneficial to a law library or that is necessary to the protection of the rights of litigants.”
SB 98 pertains to counties that fund the county law library through an assessment on civil and criminal actions. Turner said he has had judges contacting him about the law libraries funds. The judges say that these funds are accumulating because the money is seldom used for books and reports any more due to the utilization of the Internet in research. That does not mean there are not uses that need to be addressed with the money.
“The county law libraries may not need as many books, but they do need equipment,” he explained. “This law would allow the county law libraries to evolve with the changing times.”
Currently, the county law library materials are restricted to the library itself. This bill allows anything in a county law library to also be taken to where it is likely to be used, such as a Court of Justice facility.
“This legislation simply allows the trustees to use the funds for the county law libraries in the most effective and most efficient means,” he said.
The bill, which passed both chambers, awaits the governor’s signature to become law.
Turner, who represents Breathitt, Knott, Floyd and Letcher counties, has been a member of the State Senate since 2001 and has served as the Caucus Chair since 2003.