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KY General Assembly Fails to Act on Scholarship Tax Credit Bills to Help Families15 Apr

IMG_3888Unfortunately, the General Assembly failed to pass Scholarship Tax Credits as a standalone measure during the 2018 session.  They also failed to fulfill their commitment to include Scholarship Tax Credits in their tax reform proposal. In the end, this means thousands of low and middle income families will continue to be denied the opportunity to choose the school that best meets their children’s needs.

This happened despite the following facts:

  • Thousands of you contacted your legislators by phone and email in support of the legislation;
  • Over 60 members of the 100 member House of Representatives committed to voting in favor of Scholarship Tax Credits;
  • Over 20 of the 38 members of the Kentucky Senate committed to voting in favor of Scholarship Tax Credits.

At the beginning of the session, many legislators argued that the state could not afford Scholarship Tax Credits. Yet, that argument became moot when the General Assembly raised new revenue through the expansion of the sales tax and increased state spending by hundreds of millions of dollars.  Nevertheless, the leadership within the General Assembly was not willing to fund a small school choice program that would have helped as many as 7,000 families afford tuition at a nonpublic school of their choice.

Why did this happen?  School Choice is an issue that is supported by the vast majority of Kentuckians, regardless of party.  However, there is a vocal minority that opposes this issue. Unfortunately, the leadership in the General Assembly seemed to be okay with “kicking the can down the road” on school choice in order to avoid push back from some very vocal opponents who oppose Scholarship Tax Credits.

Despite all this, we are so proud of you and your efforts. You have made a difference. You were a voice for the children and families who are too often ignored.

So what comes next? The first step is to contact your state senator and state representative’s offices at 502-564-8100 and ask to speak with them about the failure of the General Assembly to pass this important legislation. The operator will help with connecting you to the right legislators.  You can find their email addresses here by entering your home address.

Take time and show up to local legislative forums that they will be holding over the next few months and be a voice for the children who need options.  Nothing will change unless you take these steps. They need to hear about your disappointment so that they can begin the work of making this situation right.

There is still hope. It is entirely possible that the General Assembly will be called back to a special session given the many issues left on the table. Even if that doesn’t happen, the 2019 session will be here soon and the work of passing a program starts now.

Although we are disappointed and upset with the outcome of this session we know the effort must continue because ALL Kentucky families deserve to have a choice in their children’s education.

 

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