The three candidates vying for a state senate seat in central Kentucky see a need for reforms to social services. Tuesday’s special election is being held in the Lexington area.
Independent Richard Moloney says the state should restore child care assistance to low income families. Moloney’s especially concerned about single mothers who work for low wages.
“14 thousand dollars or more, you lose it. Come on, that’s nuts. What happens is, when they lose that money, they have to go on welfare because they can’t afford to keep their kids in the childcare. So now they go back on welfare which causes the money to go back up,” said Moloney. As part of health care reforms state funding has been shifted away from Kentucky’s health insurance program for children and into other programs. Democrat Reginald Thomas says funding for K-CHIP should be restored. “That’s received significant budget cuts. I think it’s time to stop that and look at ways through tax reform to help fund that program to make that program more sustainable long term for children that come from low income families,” said Thomas. Republican candidate Michael Johnson sees a need to address alleged fraud within the state’s food assistance program. Johnson claims food stamps are too often used to buy ineligible items. “So, when they take that E-B-T card in there and go into the grocery story and buy liquor or buy cigarettes or sell them in the streets, that is an issue that needs to be addressed. And it’s not nothing that I’m going on hearsay, I have seen these things,” said Johnson. The winner will fill the unexpired term of Kathy Stein, who’s been appointed to a judgeship in Fayette County.