Lorran Hart Ferguson
1050 US HWY 127 South
Frankfort KY 40601
FRANKFORT, KY. (January 14, 2019) – Kentucky State Treasurer Allison Ball announced plans to launch Kentucky’s Financial Empowerment Commission at a press conference in the Capitol Rotunda today.
“We made great strides last year towards improving financial literacy in Kentucky and this is the next step,” Treasurer Ball said. “The Commission is a vital part of the work we are doing to financially empower Kentuckians and I look forward to advocating for its passage.”
House Bill 139, the Financial Empowerment Commission bill, would provide support to educators teaching financial literacy and would be funded by private donations and receive no state funding. Representative Jim DuPlessis (R-Elizabethtown) is the lead sponsor. Last year, Treasurer Ball was an outspoken advocate of HB 132, which made a financial literacy course or program a high school graduation requirement. She also launched Kentucky’s Financial Empowerment Coalition and Database last April.
The Kentucky Credit Union League (KCUL) and Kentucky’s credit unions announced their monetary support of the Financial Empowerment Commission at today’s press conference. Under HB 139, the Commission would be tasked with developing and implementing plans to improve the financial literacy of Kentuckians. For these purposes, the funding from credit unions is critical as it ensures that the Commission’s duties can be completed.
“Improving the financial literacy of Kentuckians has always been a priority of Kentucky credit unions,” Kentucky Credit Union League President Debbie Painter said. “We are proud to continue our partnership with Treasurer Ball by supporting the Financial Empowerment Commission.”
The Kentucky Department of Education is currently updating its Financial Literacy academic standards and the support of Kentucky Commissioner of Education Dr. Wayne Lewis is necessary to the Commission’s success. “I am excited about the opportunities that this Commission will bring to educators implementing HB 132,” Dr. Wayne Lewis said at the press conference. “This Commission will ease the financial burden on school districts working to build students’ financial knowledge and skills.”
DuPlessis, the bill’s lead sponsor, has been a leading financial literacy advocate in the General Assembly and sponsored last year’s financial literacy graduation requirement bill. During the press conference, he discussed the importance of taking this next step towards improved financial literacy. “I am proud to sponsor legislation to establish the Financial Empowerment Commission. The Commission is important for financial literacy in Kentucky in order to help drive policy and also provide resources for schools. I will work hard to see it become law.”
HB 139 was introduced in the House on January 9, 2019 and sent to the State Government Committee.