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Local Government

 
 

General Legislative Power of County Government in Southeastern States

 

ALABAMA: None.

For a detailed explanation see, "LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT IN THE CONSTITUTION OF ALABAMA OF 1901" and search PARCA's Local Act Database for powers of specific counties.

ARKANSAS: A county government “shall possess legislative powers not denied by the Arkansas Constitution or by law."

FLORIDA:  "Counties not operating under county charters shall have such power of self-government as is provided by general or special law. The board of county commissioners of a county not operating under a charter may enact, in a manner prescribed by general law, county ordinances not inconsistent with general or special law, but an ordinance in conflict with a municipal ordinance shall not be effective within the municipality to the extent of such conflict."

"Counties operating under county charters shall have all powers of local self-government not inconsistent with general law, or with special law approved by vote of the electors. The governing body of a county operating under a charter may enact county ordinances not inconsistent with general law. The charter shall provide which shall prevail in the event of conflict between county and municipal ordinances."

GEORGIA: A county government has the power "to adopt clearly reasonable ordinances, resolutions, or regulations relating to its property, affairs, and local government for which no provision has been made by general law and which is not inconsistent with this Constitution or any local law applicable thereto."

KENTUCKY: "Except as otherwise provided by statute or the Kentucky Constitution, the fiscal court of any county may enact ordinances, issue regulations, levy taxes, issue bonds, appropriate funds and employ personnel in performance of 26 enumerated public functions..."

LOUISIANA: Voters in any parish may adopt a home rule charter “which may include the exercise of any power and performance of any function necessary, requisite, or proper for the management of its affairs, not denied by general law or inconsistent with this constitution.”

MISSISSIPPI: “The county board of supervisors of any county shall have the power to adopt any orders, resolutions or ordinances with respect to county affairs, property and finances, for which no specific provision has been made by general law and which are not inconsistent with the Mississippi Constitution or [state law].”

NORTH CAROLINA: “A county may by ordinance define, regulate, prohibit, or abate acts, omissions, or conditions detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of its citizens and the peace and dignity of the county; and may define and abate nuisances.”

SOUTH CAROLINA: “All counties of the State, in addition to the powers conferred to their specific form of government, have authority to enact regulations, resolutions, and ordinances, not inconsistent with the Constitution and general law of this State ... as appears to them necessary and proper for the security, general welfare, and convenience of counties or for preserving health, peace, order, and good government in them. The powers of a county must be liberally construed in favor of the county and the specific mention of particular powers may not be construed as limiting in any manner the general powers of counties.”

TENNESSEE: Voters in any county may adopt a home rule charter, and after doing so its legislative body “may pass ordinances relating to purely county affairs, but such ordinances shall not be opposed to the general laws and shall not interfere with the local affairs of any municipality within the limit of such county.”

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Copyright 2012 Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama. Send comments to jtadams@samford.edu.

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