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March 3, 2020 9:24am

With GLI’s support, House committee votes to expand access to KEES and higher education

The House Education Committee voted in favor of legislation to expand access to the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) program this morning. House Bill 368, sponsored by Representative James Tipton, would remove from state statute a requirement that a KEES recipient must not be a convicted felon. This would allow more Kentuckians to prepare themselves to contribute to the workforce.

GLI’s Director of Public Policy Development, Charles Aull, testified in support of the legislation, arguing that it would increase access to educational and training opportunities for more individuals in greater Louisville – especially individuals who made mistakes in their past and are in need of a second chance. With the workforce challenges employers are facing, it is critical that we ensure every individual who wants to improve themselves through education has full access to those opportunities.

House Bill 368 passed out of the House Education Committee with unanimous support and goes to the full House for a vote.

Read GLI’s full testimony below.

Chair Huff and committee members, thank you for this opportunity to speak about the business community’s support for House Bill 368 – and thank you to Representative Tipton for championing this important legislation. 

Among the more than 1,800 businesses and organizations that GLI represents, removing barriers to employment and increasing access to educational opportunities is a top priority. Throughout the Commonwealth, we know that there are more 15,000 open jobs than individuals looking for work. We also know that many employers are struggling to find workers with the skills and training they need to fill positions and grow their businesses. 

House Bill 368 will help address these problems by increasing access to education and training opportunities for more individuals in our community – especially individuals who have made mistakes in their past and are in need of a second chance. In the economic moment we find ourselves living in, Kentucky desperately needs every individual who wants to improve themselves through education to have full access to those opportunities. This legislation will help to ensure that that happens.