FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky State Capitol was filled with hundreds of child care advocates and youth Thursday.
The 16th Annual Children’s Advocacy Day is put on through Kentucky Youth Advocates and several other child advocacy organizations.
The annual rally features a bipartisan group of lawmakers including Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, House Speaker David Osborne, R-Prospect, and Gov. Andy Beshear.
“Youth, social workers, faith leaders, teachers, pediatricians, child care providers, community leaders, and many others unite to ask our state leaders to make Kentucky children a priority during the 2020 legislative session. Kids’ issues are the common ground in which our elected leaders can make state policy and budget decisions that build a brighter future for all Kentuckians,” said Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates.
Beshear used his time at the podium to provide a preview of what to expect from his budget address on January 28, promising to increase funding for K-CHIP, which provides children under 19 health insurance and not cuts to higher education.
“For every single family that achieves that GED or graduate from high school for the first time, or for every single family that sends someone to a community college or graduates from college for the first time their lives aren’t just changed the lives of their kids and their kids are changed, we forever change the commonwealth and it’s trajectory when we allow education to unlock the true possibilities for our families,” Beshear said. “You will see in our budget that we will begin that process in working to make sure every kid can get the type of preschool and early childhood education that they so desperately need.”
House Speaker David Osborne and Senate President Robert Stivers also spoke at the rally complimenting the work KYA does.
“Your advocacy, your casework, and the tireless efforts you have put forth have led to incredible pieces of legislation and incredible impacts on public policy,” Osborne said. “Our policy is stronger and our commonwealth is better for the work that you do.”
- Several lawmakers, state officials, and others were honored with the 2020 Champion for Children awards:Senator Ralph Alvarado
- Senator Max Wise
- Representative John ‘Bam’ Carney
- Representative Chris Fugate
- Representative Joni Jenkins
- House Speaker Pro Tem David Meade
- Representative Kim Moser
- Ben Chandler, President and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky
- Nellie Ellis, Youth Ambassador of the Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children
- Norma Hatfield, President of the Kinship Families Coalition of Kentucky