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Policy makers are critical partners in promoting health, education, workforce development, and human services, so we actively engage, help educate, and advocate for good policy. And when you add your voice to our chorus, you make us that much louder and that much more effective.

Metro United Way 2024 Public Policy Agenda

Metro United Way recognizes that systemic change and lasting impact require a pairing of powerful programming and transformative policy making. Elected officials and administrative leaders are critical partners in promoting equity and opportunity for all people in the areas of education, economic mobility, and health, and as such, Metro United Way actively engages in public policy efforts.

The range of issues affecting our priorities is vast. To be effective, Metro United Way has a targeted public policy agenda below that has relevancy across our seven-county and two-state region.

View our 2024 Kentucky Public Policy Agenda HERE and our 2024 Indiana Public Policy Agenda HERE or by clicking the images below.

       

 

Thriving Kids Addressing systemic challenges to ensure high-quality education

Metro United Way advocates to…

  • Increase availability of affordable, high-quality early childhood education programs through public-private partnerships.
  • Attract, prepare, support, and retain a qualified, diverse early childhood workforce including addressing compensation and benefits.
  • Ensure all families can access evidence-based home visiting and parent support programs.
  • Enhance accessibility to high-quality out-of-school-time programming and dropout prevention and recovery.

 

Strong Households Creating pathways out of poverty to prosperity

Metro United Way advocates to…

  • Support greater access to safe and affordable housing, including all aspects of housing costs.
  • Work with industry leaders and lawmakers to identify and implement policies that prevent evictions.
  • Improve pathways to prosperity by fortifying short-term safety net programs, eliminating abrupt program exits, and streamlining application and renewal processes based on lived experiences.
  • Implement equitable, commonsense reforms to reduce financial barriers, increase pretrial services, and promote successful reentry from the judicial system.
  • Connect justice-involved children to family-focused services and prevent youth from entering and persisting in the justice system.

 

Equitable Community Ensuring zip code doesn’t determine destiny

Metro United Way advocates to…

  • Improve access to reliable, quality healthcare programs and services.
  • Expand access to paid leave programs that support families, the workforce, and economy.
  • Leverage service referral technology to meet needs and increase connectivity and efficiency among providers.
  • Allow Kentucky voters to empower local governments to invest in regional needs by modernizing the Commonwealth’s Constitution.

 

Nonprofit Sector Empowering nonprofits to continue meeting critical community needs

Metro United Way advocates to…

  • Promote tax policy that fuels community solutions through nonprofits and encourages philanthropic giving.
  • Protect nonprofits’ right to advocate for their missions and civic participation on a non-partisan basis.

Kentucky’s 2024 Legislative Session Updates

Metro United Way statement on Kentucky House Bill 561

(February 28, 2024) For Kentucky families, child care continues to be unaffordable and in limited supply, holding back not only those families, but the Commonwealth’s economy. Addressing this workforce barrier requires innovative approaches and leaders. House Bill 561 creates Certified Child Care Communities, encouraging local governments to streamline zoning regulations that will increase child care capacity across in their communities, and across the state. Metro United Way thanks Rep. Samara Heavrin for this thoughtful legislation thoughtful legislation that empowers local communities and employers to strengthen access to affordable child care for all Kentuckians. We appreciate the bipartisan support from the Kentucky House and encourage the Senate to consider and pass this legislation.

Link to view the bill

 

Metro United Way statement in response to Senate Passage of Senate Bill 6

(February 14, 2024) At Metro United Way, DEI transcends mere letters. It is a profound acknowledgment that historical laws, policies, and institutions have, both intentionally and unintentionally, disproportionately affected numerous communities in our country and Commonwealth. Through our strategic partnerships, innovative programs, impactful initiatives, and transformational investments, Metro United Way strives to ensure equitable treatment for every Kentuckian, fostering inclusion on their journey toward realizing the American dream. We are committed to cultivating spaces for open and honest dialogue and learning experiences to build a more united Commonwealth where every individual can flourish, regardless of where they live or how they identify.

Link to view the bill

 

Metro United Way Statement on Kentucky Senate Bill 203

(February 13, 2024) Access to affordable, high-quality early childhood education empowers more Kentuckians to participate in the workforce.

We applaud the introduction of the Horizons Act, which represents a historic investment in Kentucky’s early childhood infrastructure that will maintain affordability for working families, support child care providers and educators, and encourage greater capacity and quality.

Metro United Way is grateful for Sen. Danny Carroll’s leadership in consistently recognizing the pivotal role early childhood education – from birth to kindergarten – plays as economic infrastructure today and as a significant investment in the Commonwealth’s future.

We look forward to working with the senator and his colleagues to ensure these critical workforce investments become law.

Link to view the bill

 

Metro United Way Statement on Kentucky House Passage of House Bill 179

(January 30, 2024) Metro United Way applauds the Kentucky House for passing House Bill 179, making voluntary paid family leave insurance available to Kentucky employers. Studies show that access to paid leave improves outcomes for maternal and infant health, and this legislation enables employers of all sizes to support working families and strengthen households. We are grateful to Rep. Samara Heavrin for continuing to champion Kentucky’s families.

Link to view the bill

 

Metro United Way statement on House committee passage of the Safer Kentucky Act

(January 19, 2024) Kentucky consistently has one of the highest incarceration rates not only in our country but globally, perpetuating a cycle that disproportionately affects communities that are marginalized while also holding back our state’s economy. Legislation that imposes harsher penalties, escalates justice involvement, and imposes harsh penalties falls short of addressing the root causes of criminal behavior and homelessness such as racism, poverty, lack of affordable housing, and mental illness.

While consequences for illegal actions are necessary, evidence shows that harsher penalties do not serve as a deterrent to crime, homelessness, or substance use. A more effective strategy to improve public safety involves finding solutions for the underlying factors driving crime and homelessness which are more affordable and provide exponential dividends to our community as a whole. Instead of perpetuating a system that expands the incarcerated, policymakers should prioritize investments in holistic approaches that support re-entry and economic stability that empower individuals in Kentucky to overcome challenges and cultivate positive transformations. Metro United Way urges lawmakers to focus on comprehensive solutions that will build a safer and stronger society that encourages personal growth and rehabilitation.

Link to view the bill

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Resources

  • Liberation Identification

    A movement to implement a statewide program providing state-issued photo identification to all people leaving incarceration in Kentucky.

    Learn More
  • Update to the Health Impact Assessment of Kentucky’s Child Care Assistance Program:

    Increasing eligibility for Public Pre-Kindergarten Support

    Download
  • Health Impact Assessment of Expungement Policy in Kentucky

    Click to View Assessment
  • Health Impact Assessment of Kentucky’s Child Care Assistance Program

    Download
  • Impact of COVID on KY's Child Care Providers

    Learn More
  • Greater Louisville Project Early Childhood Report

    View Report
  • 2023 State of Metropolitan Housing Report

    Download

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