LITTLE ROCK (KATV) — A new group, the Arkansas Coalition for Strong Families, has formed to encourage the state to invest in kids and families ahead of the 2023 Arkansas Legislative Session.
The Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, the Urban League of the State of Arkansas, and the Arkansas Education Association are among 15 organizations that are part of the newly formed group.
This week, they released their 2023 legislative agenda detailing their focus on "policy solutions for healthy kids, thriving communities, and a strong care workforce."
"The past two years have made clear the importance of community investments & public services," said Candace Williams, co-chair of the Arkansas Coalition for Strong Families. "Now is the time for the state to do its part and build an economy that works for everyday Arkansans."
The coalition's press release stated, "Though each organization advocates on different issues, the coalition has created a shared vision of some of the programs the state government would invest in if it put children, families and the places they live, work, and play, first."
"For the past 10 years, our state budget has been shrinking, and outcomes for kids have gotten worse," said Syard Evans, co-chair of the Arkansas Coalition for Strong Families. "This is not a coincidence. We need to be investing in housing, child care, nutrition, and health care."
Part of their agenda includes proposing to extend Medicaid postpartum coverage to 12 months, establishing a 12-month eligibility for children with ARkids, eliminating the sales tax on certain hygiene products, and creating a state Earned Income Tax Credit to help Arkansans earning the lowest-incomes.
Click here to view their full legislative agenda.