The county legislative body has important duties. For example, the county legislative body—

  • has duties with respect to the acceptance of county roads, the annual updating and approval of the county road list, and the closing of roads not deemed worthy of inclusion on the county road list.  
  • may adopt optional general laws in the areas of financial management, budgeting and purchasing.  
  • has important duties with respect to approving the issuance of county debt instruments such as bonds and notes.  
  • has a duty to provide courthouse space for the state courts and jail facilities (alone or in conjunction with one or more counties) as well as for certain county officials. 
  • may adopt comprehensive zoning for the area of the county outside the corporate limits of the municipalities.  
  • has a duty to have a countywide personnel policy (although several offices may have their own policy separate from the general county policy). 
  • may provide medical and life insurance benefits to county employees and county officials through insurance or self-insurance. 
  • has the authority to regulate dogs, cats and stray animals. 
  • may, by two-thirds vote of the county legislative body, adopt regulations to prevent public nuisances.
  • may determine whether or not to adopt a distance rule regarding the sale of beer at retail.

The county legislative body must determine how to deal with its liability risks through either insurance, self-insurance, or joint self-insurance through an insurance pool.  Many of the records of the county are very valuable and the county legislative body has an important role with the county public records commission and other county officials to preserve records of permanent value and to manage the county's records efficiently. The county legislative body has a role in either electing or approving the appointment of many county officials and department heads. Also, the county legislative body may decide to limit the duties of constables to process serving and take away law enforcement powers, or to abolish the office at the end of the terms of the incumbent constables.