To the Editor:
Something most of us in the Commonwealth agree about is the value of work. Be it in coalmines, factories, or farmlands, Kentuckians have a proud history of hard work and perseverance. Central to this value of hard work is a fundamental belief: people who work hard should be able to meet basic needs. Full-time employment may not guarantee great wealth, but it should at least guarantee food on the table. Sadly, this is no longer the case.
Working families are the backbone of Kentucky. When their wages aren’t enough to make ends meet, everybody loses—children suffer, local businesses feel the pinch, and Kentucky’s economy stagnates. Kentucky’s elected offi cials must recognize the plight of our working families and take practical, concrete steps toward providing more support. Enacting a refundable Kentucky Earned Income
Credit (EIC) is one such step.
The EIC has a proven record of lifting working families out of poverty. In 2011, it lifted 6.1 million people out of poverty. In Kentucky alone, the EIC keeps 60,000 children above the poverty line. Twenty-four states — including our neighbors Indiana, Illinois, Virginia, and Ohio — have implemented state-level EICs to enhance the credit’s ability to encourage work and reduce poverty.
A state EIC is the type of support Kentucky working families need. It is a helping hand on the path financial security. By enacting a Kentucky EIC, lawmakers could signal their commitment to the hardworking families that are the foundation of our Commonwealth.
RICKY L. BAKER
Executive Director, LKLP
(Leslie Knott Letcher Perry
Community Action Council)