It’s week two of Kentucky’s 60-day legislative session! The end of week 1 unveiled a budget proposed by the Kentucky House of Representatives, which signals the fast-track nature of the 2022 budget process. This week, the Governor outlined his budget proposals for pre-K-12 education and health care. As the week continues, we will hear the remaining components of the Governor’s budget proposal during his budget address on Thursday, January 13 at 7:00 PM ET, as well as House Appropriation and Revenue Committee deliberations.
As the state budget discussions continue in coming weeks, Kentucky Youth Advocates will continue to assess and monitor budget proposals throughout the process.
In the meantime, Kentucky kids and child advocates across the commonwealth are counting on state leaders to prioritize investments that create a brighter future where all children can thrive, such as:
- Ensure investments in Medicaid and KCHIP prioritize closing the remaining gap in health coverage for Latinx children.
- Increase Medicaid funding to support health coverage for mothers up to 12 months postpartum.
- Boost investments in tobacco use prevention and cessation programming to curb use among youth and pregnant women
- Increase funding for Family Resource and Youth Service Centers (FRYSCs), who work with families to remove barriers to student learning.
- Continue funding for full-day kindergarten as an investment in early education outcomes.
- Increase per-pupil funding (SEEK) to ensure public schools can help all kids learn.
- Increase funding for school-based health providers and access to school based behavioral health services.
- Expand investment in child abuse forensic services – Pediatric Forensic Medicine at Kentucky’s medical schools and Children’s Advocacy Centers – so all children who experience maltreatment can receive the best care and their case can be investigated.
- Increase the reimbursement rate for Pediatric Sexual Abuse Forensic Examinations (P-SAFE) to allow Children’s Advocacy Centers to adequately provide necessary services and care for pediatric sexual assault victims.
- Protect funding for the HANDS in-home visiting program to ensure this critical service is available to and utilized by new parents across Kentucky.
- Bolster investments in the DCBS workforce to improve outcomes of the most vulnerable children and families.
- Build an infrastructure for child care that improves access to affordable, high-quality care to allow parents to work, children to thrive, and local economies to grow.
- Protect current funding for safety net programs, including KTAP, SNAP, and WIC, and ensure they are not modified in ways that prevent children from receiving needed services.
Kentucky kids and families need a strong state budget. We often hear how the state budget is a priority and value document rather than just a dollars and cents proposal. Kentucky’s over one million kids are counting on the House, Senate, and Governor to prioritize them as the budget process advances in Frankfort!