One of the core functions of KOHC is advocating for policies and budget priorities that are good for oral health in Kentucky. During the 2020 legislative session, KOHC had several wins to celebrate among our policy and budget priorities.
- Senate Bill 45 – strengthen licensed child care program standards on healthy eating and drinking, active play, and screen time.
- Senate Bill 56 – ensure Kentucky complies with the federal minimum legal sale age for all tobacco products and eliminate purchase, use, and possession penalties for youth up to age 21 so children and teens can grow into healthier adults.
- House Bill 32 – enact a state excise tax on e-cigarettes to help prevent use among youth. This is a first step and we will continue to advocate for an e-cigarette tax equivalent to that currently on cigarettes to ensure a beneficial impact for kids and to see a boost in additional revenue for the state budget.
- Sustained funding for Family Resource and Youth Service Centers (FRYSCs), a critical resource that ensures every student has the opportunity to succeed.
- Commitment to improve school safety and student resiliency, especially the emphasis on utilizing federal Medicaid funds for school-based health and behavioral health professionals to provide needed services right where kids will need it most.
- In addition, Senate Bill 86, a bill aiming to reduce the use of fluoridation in tap water in Kentucky, was assigned to the Senate State and Local Government Committee but did not have movement.
Kentuckians deserve to be prioritized as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact every aspect of our lives. Kentucky Oral Health Coalition will continue advocacy efforts for increased oral health access, literacy, and improved outcomes to create systemic change within the health delivery system. KOHC is an active partner of the Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children coalition. Learn more about the Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children and 2020 wins for children here.