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Government of Kentucky

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The Government of Kentucky is guarded and established by the Kentucky Constitution. Kentucky became a 15th state of the United States on June 1, 1792 [1]. The state is also referred as the “Commonwealth”. The government of Kentucky is divided into three distinct branches, namely the Executive branch, the Legislative branch and the Judicial branch. All state officials in Kentucky are appointed in odd numbered years unlike the majority of the other states of the United States, which elect their officials in even numbered years.


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Kentucky Executive Branch


The Kentucky Executive Branch is a well functioning body of the government of Kentucky and several state government departments work under the executive branch. The Governor of Kentucky leads the government as well as the state as the chief executive head. The governor may serve the State for a four year term. The governor can exercise his/her executive power and functions as the head of the state’s military forces.The governor also has the unilateral power to forbid the law enacted by the state legislature which can be accomplished by attaining simple majority within the upper house and the lower house.

Office of the Governor
700 Capitol Avenue, Suite 100
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Main Line: (502) 564-2611
Fax: (502) 564-2517
TDD: (502) 564-9551 (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf)
Website: http://governor.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx

The Lieutenant governor may exercise the governor’s duties only in situations when the governor is incapable of performing his/her duties. Based on whether he/she is a member of the cabinet of the governor, executive authority may or may not be rendered to the lieutenant governor. The lieutenant governor is also elected for a four year term.

Office of the Lieutenant Governor
700 Capitol Avenue, Suite 142
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Main Line: (502) 564-2611
Fax: (502) 564-2849
TDD: (502) 564-9551 (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf)
Website: http://ltgovernor.ky.gov/Pages/Default.aspx

The other elected executive officials are the Attorney General, Secretary of State, Auditor of Public Accounts, Commissioner of Agriculture and State Treasurer.

Attorney General


The Attorney General is the highest ranking law enforcement officer for the state. He/she is the head of the Department of Law, and is regarded as the State's chief legal officer.Executive

Contact Details:
Office of the Attorney General
700 Capitol Avenue, Suite 118
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601-3449
Main switchboard: 502-696-5300
Fax: 502-564-2894
Consumer Protection switchboard: 502-696-5389
Rate Intervention switchboard: 502-696-5453
Website: http://ag.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx

Secretary of State

The Secretary of State is a constitutionally elected official in the executive branch of state government. The secretary has many duties and responsibilities to fulfill for the state, including administration of elections and providing certain business services to the public.

Contact Details:
Office of the Kentucky Secretary of State
700 Capital Ave., Ste. 152
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: (502) 564-3490
Website: http://www.sos.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx

State Auditor

The State Auditor is a constitutionally elected officer in the executive branch. He/she manages and oversees billion funds spent yearly by the state's local governments. The Office of the State Auditor performs audits of the financial statements submitted by the local governments and also checks and validates all data, documents, grievance and reports forwarded to the Office of the State Auditor.

Contact Details:

209 St. Clair Street.
Frankfort, Ky 40601
Phone: 502.564.5841
Alert Hotline: 1 800 KY-ALERT (1.800.592.5378)
Fax: 502.564.2912
Website: http://auditor.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx

State Treasurer

The State Treasurer is responsible to efficiently manage the finances and public resources. The Treasurer also has the responsibility to overview cash management, debt management, pension funds etc. of the state

Contact Details:
Office of State Treasurer
1050 US Highway 127 South, Suite 100
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Phone: (502) 564-4722
Fax: (502) 564-6545
Website: http://www.treasury.ky.gov/

Commissioner of Agriculture

The commissioner of agriculture ensures the proper functioning of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. The department oversees all areas of agriculture covering all aspects of livestock market, livestock brands, livestock dealers, fertilizer, seed, and feed. The Department’s has also its main focus to promote and safeguard the Garden State’s varied agriculture and agribusiness industries.

Contact Details:
Kentucky Department of Agriculture
111 Corporate Drive
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Phone: (502) 573-0282
Fax: (502) 564-2133
1-800-327-6568 (Toll Free)
Website: http://www.kyagr.com

Kentucky Legislative Branch


LegislativeKentucky's legislative branch is a bicameral body which is called the Kentucky General Assembly. The general assembly is divided into two separate bodies, namely Kentucky Senate and House of Representatives. All legislators must reside in their respective districts they represent. The two legislatures meet in the Legislative Building at the Capitol in Frankfort.

Learn more: Kentucky Legislative Branch

The Kentucky Senate, consisting of 38 state senators, is the upper House of the legislature. All senators can serve a four year terms with half of the senate elected every 2 years. The state's senator must be minimum 30 years of age, a Kentucky citizen and must reside in the state for a minimum of 6 years immediately prior to the election. He/she must reside in their particular district for a minimum of one year before the election.

Also see: Senate Members

The House of Representatives, consisting of 100 members, is the lower house of the legislature. Each member represents each district and he/she may serve for two-year terms in the house. A minimum of 24 years of age is the required age to be a representative of the house. He/she must be a Kentucky citizen and must reside in the state for a minimum of 2 years and for 1 year in the district before the election.

The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the assembly who is elected by the members of the house through a House resolution. It is a leadership position and he/she must administer the majority party agenda and delegate the duty to the members of the house.

Also see: House members

Kentucky Judicial Branch


Under the Kentucky Constitution, the Judiciary branch applies and interprets laws and regulations to ensure justice in the state. The judicial branch of Kentucky is also known as the Kentucky Court of Justice. The judicial system of Kentucky is served by numerous efficient professionally trained judges. Chief Justice of the Commonwealth heads the Kentucky Court of Justice.

The Kentucky Court of Justice consists of –

  • The Kentucky Supreme Court - Court of last resortJudiciary
  • The Kentucky Court of Appeals - Intermediate appellate court
  • Circuit Courts - Courts of general jurisdiction
  • District Courts - Courts of limited jurisdiction
  • Family Court - specialty courts

Contact Details:
Kentucky Court of Justice
1001 Vandalay Drive
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: 502.573.2350
Website: http://courts.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx

Kentucky Supreme Court


The Kentucky Supreme Court is the court of last resort and the final hearing of state law. It consists of a chief justice and 7 justices. The Chief Justice is appointed by the associate justices and is elected for a four year term. The 7 justices may serve for an eight-year term.

  • The Supreme Court reviews decisions from the lower courts and issue final reviews on cases.

  • Any cases, once forwarded to the Supreme Court, cannot be retried.

  • The Supreme Court directly handles all cases from the circuit court level related to life imprisonment, death penalty, or imprisonment for 20 years or more.

  • All rules and regulations for the proper functioning of the Court of Justice, including the conduct of judges and attorneys are established by the Supreme Court.

Contact Details:
Supreme Court of Kentucky
State Capitol, Room 235
700 Capitol Avenue
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: 502-564-5444

Kentucky Court of Appeals


Kentucky Court of Appeals is the court of intermediate appeal. The court consists of 14 judges, 2 appointed from 7 appellate court districts. Panel comprising of 3 judges are formed to handle and review all cases. The panels do not have a permanent location but they travel across the state to hear cases.

  • The Court of Appeals handles all cases forwarded from a lower court.

  • Any if unsatisfactory trial court's decisions are reviewed by the court of appeals.

  • Cases, such as divorces and criminal case acquittals may not be appealed. However divorce cases related to property rights and child custody decisions may be appealed.

  • Cases to the Court of Appeals are not retried. The original court trial's records are reviewed and the legal issues are forwarded to the court for a decision.

Contact Details:
Kentucky Court of Appeals
360 Democrat Drive
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: 502-573-7920

Kentucky Circuit Courts


Circuit Court is the general jurisdiction court and has jurisdiction to issue injunctions, writs of mandamus, writs of prohibition and handles cases from administrative agencies and District Court.

The court handles -

  • Civil matters in which the amount in dispute is over $5,000, Capital offenses and felonies
  • Land dispute title cases
  • Contested probate cases

Kentucky District Courts


District Court is the limited jurisdiction court and its judges are appointed for four-year terms.

The court handles -

  • Juvenile matters
  • City and county ordinancescourts
  • Misdemeanors
  • Violations
  • Traffic offenses
  • Probate of wills
  • Arraignments
  • Felony probable cause hearings
  • Small claims amounting to $2,500 or less
  • Civil cases amounting to $5,000 or less
  • Voluntary and involuntary mental commitments
  • Cases relating to domestic violence and abuse

Kentucky Family Court


Family Court handles most intimate and several complicated human behaviour and social nature cases. There is a case management process in the Family Court that operate to handle all the complex human relation cases. The Family Courts follows the One Family, One Judge, One Court approach.

The Family Court handle-

  • Dissolution of marriage
  • Spousal support and equitable
  • Distribution
  • Child custody, support and visitation
  • Paternity, adoption
  • Domestic violence
  • Dependency, neglect and abuse
  • Termination of parental rights
  • Status Offences (runaways, truancy, beyond control)

Kentucky Taxation


taxThe Kentucky department of the Revenue manages and administers a standard tax laws in the state. Tax laws include entire laws and taxes on income, sales, property, luxury, and estate.

Individual Income Tax: Individual Income Tax must be paid by all residents of the state who earn an income and also by non-residents earning income from Kentucky sources. Income tax brackets in the state are divided into 6 brackets, ranging from 2% to 6% of personal income.

Learn more: Individual Income Tax

Also read:

Sales and Use Tax: The Kentucky sales tax rate is 6%.

Property Tax: Kentucky levies property tax on all classes of property at widely varying rates.

Tobacco Tax

Contact Local Tax payers Service Centers

Kentucky Executive Departments


Several state departments, under the leadership of the governor of Kentucky, operate to ensure progress and development of the state. Some of the main state departments of Kentucky are:

Kentucky Department of Education


The Kentucky Department of Education operates to improve the public education system and also to enhance student academic achievements and outputs. The department’s mission is to provide worldEducation class education and best values to the students to ensure success in education, workplace and in every spheres of life. The Kentucky Board of Education overviews the regulation of the public school districts of the state.

Contact Details:
Capital Plaza Tower
500 Mero St.
Frankfort, KY 40601
P: (502) 564-4770
Website: http://education.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet


Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is an agency of the executive branch that overviews the entire transportation network of the state to ensure safe and easy commuting of people and goods. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet owns, manages and maintains numerous lane-miles of primary and secondary roads, bridges, tunnels, interstate highways, parkways, railways.

Contact Details:
David J. Goldberg Transportation Complex
1035 Parkway Avenue
Trenton, NJ 08625
Phone: 08625-0600
Website: http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/

Kentucky Department of Public Health


The Kentucky Department of Public Health works efficiently to improve the health and living standards of the community by implementing many health regulating services and policies. Various divisions and sub-divisions work concurrently with the department to optimize the health of the community. Additionally the department also has its division that maintains and manages health statistics and vital records of the state.Health care

Contact Details:
200 Mero Street
Frankfort, KY 40622
Phone: (502) 564-4890
Website: http://transportation.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx

For Driver Licensing Information, call at (502) 564-1257

Kentucky Department of Agriculture


Kentucky Department of Agriculture oversees all areas of agriculture covering all aspects of livestock market, livestock brands, livestock dealers, fertilizer, seed, and feed. The department is a consumer protection and service agency that functions as a vital agency that directly or indirectly affects the lives of all residents of the state.

Contact Details:
111 Corporate Drive
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Phone: (502) 573-0282
Fax: (502) 564-2133 or 1-800-327-6568
Website: http://www.kyagr.com/

Kentucky Department of Military Affairs


Kentucky Department of Military Affairs is a significant department which serves as a guardian of the state. The department operates as the homeland defense, homeland security, and emergency mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery activities to protect the citizens of Kentucky, their property and the environment. The department also encompasses Kentucky Army National Guard, Kentucky and Air National Guard.

Learn more: Kentucky Department of Military Affairs

Contact Details:

Emergency Management
Staff Duty Officer
(502) 607-1638 (24/7)Military

Public Affairs/Media (502) 607-1562

KY Army National Guard Recruiting (502) 607-6011

Frankfort, KY DEERS ID Card Office (502) 607-1660

Military Records, Retirement Services (502) 607-1497

Education (502) 607-1307

Medical (502) 607-1698

Human Resources (502) 607-1332

Logistics/Supply (502) 607-1639

KY Air National Guard
Operation Center
(502) 364-4741



References:

  1. Kentucky Statehood
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