The legislature has been in session since January 5th and during this time the Governor has shared his budget proposal and the Kentucky House of Representatives filed a continuation version of the budget to expedite the process within this short legislative session.
A continuation budget is exactly what it sounds like – how can we maintain, or continue, the state budget that was developed in 2020 into 2021. The Kentucky House and Senate have both passed the continuation budget within the first 8 days of this 30-day session. This action means appointed members from both chambers will now participate in what’s called a conference committee to negotiate and compromise on the details of the state budget before the final gavel in March.
We’ve continued to attest that Kentucky kids are counting on leaders to prioritize state budget investments that create a brighter future where all children can thrive. Kentucky kids and families need a strong state budget that include the following Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children priorities:
- Sustaining funding for the Medicaid and KCHIP programs, and invest in closing the remaining gap in child health coverage
- Investing in infrastructure to close the digital divide so that kids can access the educational resources and telehealth services they need
- Sustaining funding for Family Resource and Youth Service Centers (FRYSCs) that work with families to remove barriers to student learning
- Ensuring dedicated funding to implement the Expanded Care Services policy to support student mental health
- Sustaining investment in critical services and financial supports for kinship families
- Increasing funding for family preservation and treatment programs that allow families to stay together safely while parents work to achieve sobriety and access mental health and parenting supports
- Expanding investment in child abuse forensic services so all children who experience maltreatment can receive the best care
- Investing in the Health Access Nurturing Development Services (HANDS) in-home visitation program to provide critical supports to new parents
- Protecting funding for safety net programs, including KTAP, CCAP, SNAP and WIC, and ensure they are not modified in ways that prevent children from receiving needed services
As the legislature is in recess until February 2nd, the conference committee members will be able to meet during the break. Once a consensus is reached and the budget bill passes each chamber, it will be sent to the Governor to sign. We encourage child advocates across the state to reach out to their State Senator, Representative, and the Governor to prioritize kids and families as a budget process advances in Frankfort.
Find out who represents you in Frankfort and contact them throughout the legislative session. View and download the full list of Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children policy and budget priorities. Stay up-to-date on Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children priorities that are good for kids with our Kentucky General Assembly Bill Tracker. Sign up for updates on Children’s Advocacy Week taking place February 1-5.