State Representative Nate Walker of Kirksville reports the legislature approved a bill he supported, which ensures vacancies in important county offices are filled in a timely manner.
House Bill 1428 is meant to avoid situations where a vacancy causes a county office to shut down. The bill requires the county commission in all non-charter counties to make an appointment to fill a vacancy within 14 days. The appointee will then serve in the position until the governor makes an appointment or until the vacancy is filled by operation of another provision of law.
Walker says in counties with only two commissioners, the presiding judge of the circuit court will make the appointment when there is the absence of an agreement. The offices of the prosecuting attorney and circuit attorney are excluded from the provision. The bill also sets a 60-day time limit for the governor to fill a County Commissioner vacancy with the advice and consent of the State Senate. The vacancies filled by appointment will be held by the appointee for the remainder of the term.
The bill does not apply to any county that has adopted a charter for its own government.