KYA Kids Count Report Finds High Child Poverty Rate

Dec 28, 2012


State lawmakers return to Frankfort in two weeks, and the head of Kentucky Youth Advocates says there are a few steps they should take to address lingering issues affecting children. The latest Kids Count report shows that about a quarter of Kentucky's children live in poverty. In western Kentucky Fulton County recorded the highest rate, with 41 percent, and Carlisle County had the lowest rate at 15.8 percent.

KYA Executive Director Terry Brooks says there isn't a single solution, and he says the chances of comprehensive reforms passing in a 30-day session are slim. But Brooks says KYA is reaching out to lawmakers to identify a few issues that could be tackled next year.

“On a very pragmatic basis, we wanted to wait until after the election and after the leadership races got decided," said Brooks. "That's sort of in progress. We have some real hopes.”

One issue, Brooks says, is the Earned Income Tax Credit, which KYA has promoted for years. The governor's tax reform commission recently recommended creating a state version of the federal anti-poverty measure, and Brooks says similar measures have had bipartisan support in the past.