The Kentucky Revised Statutes seems more a force of nature than something with a date of origin. Yet on October 1, 2017, the not-quite-a-baby-boomer known universally as the “KRS” will celebrate its seventy-fifth birthday. While not perhaps deserving of a diamond jubilee, the well-ordered and logically designed revision of statutory enactments deserves at least a birthday party and perhaps a law book-shaped cake.
In this birthday year, it is important to note that every provision in the current KRS that has a “1942 Ky. Acts. c. 208, § 1” statement in its legislative history has roots in the revision.
The KRS was the end result of a long process that started in 1936, when the General Assembly created a committee to weed out repealed and obsolete laws and to reduce the length (and heft) of the massive Carroll’s Kentucky Statutes used in state courts, and ended when the final revised statutes draft bill was introduced in the 1942 session of the General Assembly, which adopted the new code as the "Kentucky Revised Statutes."
This was not the first revision of the Kentucky statutory code. In its 225 years, the commonwealth of Kentucky has promulgated or sponsored many compilations and codes. This guide will direct researchers seeking to access Kentucky's pre-1942 statutes, describe and offer access to the official documents and legislative history of the 1942 revision, list and discuss a series of revealing articles by the revisers in the Kentucky State Bar Association Journal, and offer a selective bibliography of articles in the Louisville Courier-Journal aimed at explaining the statute revision process to its readers.