From KFTC's Economic Justice Lobby Day

The folks at KFTC's Economic Justice Lobby Day – twenty or so, and lots of great folks we've gotten to know from Women In Transition and Network Center for Community Change, and many first-time lobbyists – met the challenge head-on of working with at least four issues (in many more bills) that would impact Kentuckians' lives. It was a full day!

Members have seen real potential in the combination of raising the wage and enacting a state EITC, so lots of conversations were encouraging legislators to support these policies that, together, would make a significant difference in the lives of hundred of thousands of Kentuckians.

But members also had to defend against some policies that would bring harm: the Local Option Sales Tax (HB 399) and the AT&T bill (SB 99). We've learned this morning that the AT&T bill passed through the House Economic Development Committee with a committee substitute – not good news. But legislators who'd supported the Local Option Sales Tax – many of them KFTC allies – seemed receptive and responsive to members' concerns. And we forged some new collaborative strategies for supporting comprehensive state tax reforms in the Kentucky Forward Bill.

Many, many thanks to all the folks who came out and called in yesterday!

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Comments

I am a student at Eastern Kentucky University and have been researching the 'ban the box' movement. The goal is to remove the checkbox from aplications asking for applicants to reveal their criminal history. This measure acts as an extra filter for employers to deny former-felon's access to the jobs they deserve. By preventing access to jobs for former felons, employers in Kentucky are increasing the wage gap. This wage gap has real health implications as persons with less economic means tend to have higher insidence of chronic illnesses including COPD, emphysema and diabetes (WHO, 2012). I propose that Ky employers shouldn't screen job applicants before they are able to explain the cercumstances of their conviction or prove themselves a worthy candidate for employment based on education and past job experience. I would like to see this become one of KFTCs platforms.Currently, ten states have joined the movement, including Hawaii and California. Most recently, Louisville became the first southern city to pass an ordinance with similar measures. If the momentum continues, it is only a matter of time before Kentuckians are able to get a job regardless of past criminal history.Thank you for your consideration of the ban the box policy. Sincerely,Max Perlin

Hi Max,

Thank you for sharing this information about Ban the Box. I'd love to talk with you a bit more about this and the possibility of you talking about this at a chapter meeting. Please don't hesitate to contact me at bethbissmeyer@kftc.org or (859) 314-2044.

Thanks again!

-- Beth Bissmeyer, KFTC Organizer for Madison County and Wilderness Trace

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