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KAC May Newsletter

Refreshed and ready for veto session

As this year's Legislative session heads into its final days,  you hold the key to unlocking our state's potential .  
You hold the key to making sure the state stays on the road to recovery, with sustainable fiscal policy that invests in our shared priorities -- education, health care, infrastructure, and thriving communities.    
You  hold the key to making sure Kansas becomes the best place in the country to raise -- and be -- a child.  
How? By being part of the network of advocates across the state working alongside Kansas Action for Children.  
So far this year, our work has shown promising results.  And it's because of KAC's special approach  -- t alking directly to communities  and advocates about pressing issues to   encourage  lawmakers to do good things for kids and families.  Building will  this way  takes time and energy. But the results are worth it.  
We 've  spent  the past few months telling legislators, state officials, and the public that now was not the time for a giant corporate tax giveaway.  And while we're a children's advocacy group, we know that we can't make the change our state's children need without resources.   
Fiscal policy is important, which is why we -- and our Kansas Center for Economic Growth project --  were the leading voice s   against policy that would undo so much of what we've achieved as a state.   After weeks of work, the governor vetoed Senate Bill 22, which would have  reduced revenue by a  half-billion dollars over three years. The Senate and House didn't even attempt an override.
That's where we are today, the first day of the veto session. But we know that more dangerous tax p lans are waiting during  these final days of the legislative calendar. And we can't be a voice for Kansas children without your help.
Big businesses have lobbyists aplenty and the budgets to match. They're determined to make state government work for them.  
We need  state government  to work for the smallest kids in Kansas.  
Please stay with us in this fight. Your advocacy and support make all the difference in the world.

Ad astra,

Passing up a chance to strengthen families

Kansas is missing out on an important opportunity. Our state ranks 48th in the federal share of its state budget, above only Hawaii and Virginia -- meaning that resources from federal programs meant to strengthen our state's children and families are going unused.
Luckily, with administrative and legislative changes, we can increase access to these tools for success. By increasing its share of federal dollars, Kansas can be more fiscally responsible by shifting state funds currently being used unnecessarily to other needed investments. 
A new report from the Kansas Center for Economic Growth (a project of Kansas Action for Children) outlines the possibilities for maximizing federal funds from the Child Care and Development Block Grant, Temporary Aid for Needy Families, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and health insurance programs. Read more at: http://bit.ly/KSfedfunds.

"Kansas has missed out on billions of dollars," said Kansas Action for Children Director of Policy and Research Emily Fetsch. "These aren't theoretical funds. They could have helped families afford child care. They could have educated communities about SNAP. They could have provided health insurance to more Kansans.

"Simply put, we could have relieved pressure on the state budget in so many areas."

This federal funds brief is the fourth in a series produced this spring by KAC, KCEG, and the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund. The three other issue briefs cover:
  • The Benefits of Home Visiting. Through home-based visits with trained professionals equipped with strategies and tactics, parents gain skills and competencies essential to supporting and improving the health and development of their children.
  • Maximizing Medicaid for Kansas Kids. From access to prenatal care to a baby's first encounters with a doctor, Kansas' Medicaid program provides for powerful opportunities to shape the lives of Kansas kids and their families.
  • Early Childhood Education: Challenges and Opportunities in Kansas. High-quality, affordable early childhood education can help children prepare to be future leaders in our communities and in our state. Unfortunately, quality early childhood education is out of reach for many Kansas kids because of costs and missed opportunities for statewide collaboration.
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Visit our website at KAC.org for a comprehensive overview of our work.