The 2014 Kentucky General Assembly wrapped up late last night. The day after, a review of the action taken by legislators in Frankfort this year shows major accomplishments for Kentucky children. Thank you to the many bill sponsors, leaders on budget issues, Governor Beshear, President Stivers, Speaker Stumbo, other members of House and Senate leadership, and all legislators that helped make these accomplishments possible!
What do these wins mean?
SB 176, sponsored by Senator Denise Harper Angel, means that children being raised by relatives without a legal relationship can access education and health care.
SB 200, sponsored by Senator Whitney Westerfield with co-champion Representative John Tilley, means our juvenile justice system will get the outcomes for youth and families we want for community safety while also using taxpayer dollars wisely.
HB 157, sponsored by Representative Addia Wuchner and primary co-sponsor Representative Susan Westrom, means doctors who regularly see children will receive training to identify signs of abuse and neglect to prevent child deaths.
SB 159, sponsored by Senator Buford, means primary care providers can partner with schools to offer oral health care.
Funding for the Child Care Assistance Program means parents earning low-wages can work knowing their children are in safe child care.
Funding for the child fatality review panel means the volunteer members of the panel will have staff support to help identify what went wrong in tragic cases where children died from abuse and neglect and offer solutions to prevent future deaths from occurring.
Funding for oral health means more children will receive preventative care that will avoid tooth decay and the costs of fixing oral health problems.
Funding for start-up costs for relatives raising kin means relatives stepping up to care for children will have support to pay for a crib, clothes, a car seat, and other basic needs.
Funding for additional children to attend preschool in the second year of the budget means more children will be prepared to thrive in Kindergarten.
Funding for K-12 education means schools will have resources to help all children prepare for success in college and a career.
For a broader look at the session, check out Dr. Terry Brooks on Kentucky Tonight’s recap of the 2014 legislative session which aired on Monday, April 14.