As Kansas families hang in the balance, need for HOPE Act reform more urgent than ever

July 11, 2019

Kansas Action for Children Vice President of Advocacy John Wilson released the following statement after Gov. Laura Kelly’s announcement that the Department of Children and Families would roll back a policy change allowing more adults to receive food assistance. Her decision followed threats of legal action from the state attorney general.

“The policy choices we make as a state demonstrate what we value. For too many years, Kansas enacted ideologically driven policies that harmed parents and children in need of support. We can and must do better as a state for our fellow Kansans.

“The numbers are clear: According to the latest KIDS COUNT data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Kansas had 104,000 children living in poverty. There were 146,000 children whose parents don’t have secure employment. There were 39,000 children without health insurance, and 51,000 living in high-poverty areas. These children and their parents matter. Right now, Kansas law restricts help that could transform their lives.

“Feeding hungry Kansans doesn’t just help those in need. It helps everyone as we work to build a strong, inclusive, thriving state. The HOPE Act has harmed those who should be lifted up, and it’s time to change the law.”