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Legislative Update: House Bill 38419 Mar

Capitol DomeThe Kentucky General Assembly is winding up its 2015 session, and much remains unfinished.  This includes House Bill 384, a bill which would create a tuition assistance tax credit program.  Many of you responded to a message that the Catholic Conference of Kentucky (“CCK”) circulated during February.  The message asked for families to contact their legislators and ask for their support.

House Bill 384 did not receive a hearing in the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee, and no action is expected this year.  This was not unexpected since 2015 is a non-budget year.  In most instances, the General Assembly only considers matters related to the budget, including taxation, during sessions on even numbered years.

Despite these procedural obstacles, your voices were heard and a great deal of progress was made towards passing this important legislation.  The focus of this session was to lay the groundwork for 2016.  A major component of this strategy was educating legislators about the bill and determining where they stand.

On several occasions, legislators had heard from their constituents prior to meeting with CCK’s staff about House Bill 384.  As a result, the vast majority of the legislators that CCK met with expressed support for the bill and pledged to assist CCK in its efforts during the 2016 session.  The importance of your voice in this matter cannot be understated.

The 2016 campaign for tax credit legislation will be the largest push for this bill to date.  CCK will be partnering with likeminded groups in order to make the case to legislators that Kentucky families need this legislation.  Expect big things to happen in 2016.

In the meantime, it is very important that we keep the conversation alive.  Please continue to ask your legislators to support this legislation during the interim.  If your legislator is a supporter, be sure to thank them.  House Bill 384’s sponsors, Representatives Tommy Thompson and David Floyd, were very appreciative of the outpouring of support that they received within their districts.  Standing behind our supporters is just as important as gaining new ones.

If you need assistance with regard to reaching out to your state legislators, please feel free to contact CCK’s office.  We are also very interested in hearing about your conversations with legislators.  If your legislator has taken a position on the bill, please let us know.

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