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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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Scholarship Tax Credits and Tax Reform03 Apr

Most of you received emails or calls from legislators this session promising to include Scholarship Tax Credits in comprehensive tax reform.  I received similar IMG_3888commitments throughout the session.  Consequently, I was shocked to learn yesterday that the General Assembly passed a massive tax package that did not include Scholarship Tax Credits (or any other school choice measures).

I cannot speak to the details of what happened at this time.  As of late last week, momentum was on our side.  However, it is abundantly clear that the General Assembly decided to defer to the voices of a small minority of opponents over the thousands of Kentuckians who want educational options for families.

The good news is that the session is not over.  The General Assembly will reconvene on April 13th for its final days of the session.  It can still pass Scholarship Tax Credits at that time.    It is very important that you contact your legislators to express your dissatisfaction. Otherwise, they will only hear the voices of those who oppose educational choice.  Please take the following steps this week and encourage your friends to do the same:

  • If you have received an email or phone call from your legislators in support of Scholarship Tax Credits, follow up with them this week. Ask why Scholarship Tax Credits were not included in the tax package and what they plan to do to fix the situation.
  • Contact your Senators and Representatives offices at 502-564-8100 and ask to speak with their assistants about setting up a meeting in your hometown to discuss what they plan to do to make this situation right before the end of the session. You can look up your legislator by going here, putting in your address, and clicking on the map.  If they receive enough requests, they will likely schedule an event in their district to hear about the issue.
  • If you cannot take the above steps, please take 5 minutes of your time and leave a personalized message for your Senator and Representative at 1-800-372-7181.  The operator will help you connect with the right legislators.

We cannot give up at this point.  We cannot accept excuses or further delay.  The General Assembly has a majority that would support Scholarship Tax Credits now.  It may not next year.  The time for action is now.

Thank you for your advocacy on behalf of Kentucky’s children.

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Register Now! Catholics @ the Capitol 201807 Jan

Catholics @ the Capitol will be held on February 13, 2018. This is a great opportunity to connect with your legislators, Capitol Domeespecially if you have not done so before or if you often feel unprepared to reach out to your representatives. CCK staff will provide a full morning briefing on the main issues of concern for the Catholic Church in this year’s session of the General Assembly and will provide assistance in connecting you with your state senator and representative. Everyone is encouraged to register and attend.

For more information, please follow the link below for the day’s agenda. Also, use the registration form to let us know you’re coming. We ask that you please register by February 6.

Thank you for your continuing commitment to Faithful Citizenship!

Catholics @ the Capitol 2018 Agenda

Catholics @ the Capitol Registration Form

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Health Care Summit CANCELED19 Oct

Please note that the CCK Health Care Summit, planned for October 26, has been canceled. We received an unusually low number or RSVPs and will be working to determine what conflicts existed and how to avoid them in the future.

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Scholarship Tax Credit Update04 Oct

The Kentucky General Assembly will have an opportunity to pass a Scholarship Tax Credit law when it convenes for the 2018 session in January.

Scholarship Tax Credit Insert

Scholarship Tax Credit Insert

This might seem far away, but the work of passing a Scholarship Tax Credit program begins now.  There are several ways that you can help.

First, please follow EdChoice KY on Facebook and Twitter.  The Catholic Conference is part of the EdChoice KY coalition, a diverse group of individuals and organizations who want to give more educational opportunities to Kentucky students. EdChoice KY’s Facebook and Twitter pages provide useful information on Scholarship Tax Credits and how such a program would help Kentucky families.  Please follow these pages and share them with your friends and family. We could easily reach thousands of Kentuckians if every person who reads this post invited five people to follow EdChoice KY.

Second, please consider having us visit your parish, school or community group to present on Scholarship Tax Credits.  Over the past few months, we have presented to parent groups, school boards, and civic groups on the issue. If you are interested, please contact Andrew Vandiver at avandiver@ccky.org.

Third, ask your parish or school to circulate the bulletin insert above. It is an easy way to connect members of your community with EdChoice KY.  If you need an electronic copy, please contact Andrew Vandiver at avandiver@ccky.org.

Thank you for your advocacy.

Latest news

KY General Assembly Fails to Act on Scholarship Tax Credit Bills to Help Families
Unfortunately, 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 […]

Scholarship Tax Credits and Tax Reform
Most of you received emails or calls from legislators this session promising to include Scholarship Tax Credits in comprehensive tax reform.  I received similar commitments throughout the session.  Consequently, I was shocked to learn yesterday that the General Assembly passed a massive tax package that did not include Scholarship Tax Credits (or any other school […]

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