Kentucky Nonprofit Network Executive Director/CEO Danielle Clore issued the following statement in response to the release of Governor Bevin’s budget proposal:
Nonprofit organizations are at risk, which means Kentuckians are at risk.
In his budget proposal, Governor Matt Bevin recommends investments to combat Kentucky’s opioid crisis, improve child protection and the foster care system and other programs, which would be important steps to building a stronger Kentucky. He also proposes budget cuts of 6.25 percent and the elimination of 70 programs, which will result in more Kentuckians turning to charitable nonprofits for assistance. Combine that with further significant budget cuts coming from the federal level and the projected loss of millions of dollars in charitable contributions as a result of the new federal tax law. Add on new demands on nonprofits to accommodate, manage and verify service hours for thousands of Kentuckians needing to meet new requirements for Kentucky HEALTH eligibility, the 1115 Medicaid waiver approved last week. This all has the makings of a perfect storm bearing down on the nonprofits that serve every community from Paducah to Pikeville.
When nonprofit organizations face these competing forces of increased demand and decreased resources, that perfect storm hurts the most vulnerable Kentuckians who rely on nonprofits for vital services. Left in the wake of the storm are reduced service hours and waitlists. And that perfect storm could force some nonprofits to close their doors, leaving our friends, families, and neighbors without meals, adequate shelter, health services, crisis counseling, job training, quality child care, educational opportunities and other assistance.
We know that Governor Bevin shares the commitment of nonprofits organizations to a quality of life in Kentucky that makes our Commonwealth an attractive place for businesses to set up shop. Quality of life is what nonprofits do. It’s why we exist. We know that investments in education, health care, workforce development, the environment and the arts build a better economy that is critical to creating vibrant communities that bring jobs to Kentucky. Accounting for nine percent of Kentucky’s wages and employing over nine percent of our state’s workforce, nonprofit organizations are also an economic engine vital to the kind of Commonwealth Governor Bevin says he envisions.
Kentucky Nonprofit Network hopes to work with the Bevin Administration to ensure that Kentuckians seeking to meet the new Kentucky HEALTH eligibility requirements and the nonprofits that welcome them will both benefit. To do this, we must work together to make certain those organizations have the capacity and support to effectively accommodate the individuals who must satisfy community engagement requirements to receive basic health care.
We call on the Governor and members of the General Assembly to take a balanced approach to getting Kentucky’s fiscal house in order. Kentucky cannot cut its way to prosperity. We agree that new revenue is essential and urge tax modernization sooner rather than later.
Nonprofits are committed partners and proven problem-solvers. Let’s work together to create a better future for all Kentuckians.
Kentucky Nonprofit Network (KNN) is Kentucky’s state association of nonprofits. Founded in 2002, KNN provides quality education, sharing of best practices and resources, time and money-saving member benefits and a unified public policy voice to advance Kentucky’s nonprofit community because nonprofits are essential to vibrant communities.