LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A law reforming Kentucky's public assistance passed earlier this year over Governor Andy Beshear’s veto, but what has it meant for families in the commonwealth?
“Now we're stuck trying to put in programs that we think are going to make it more difficult for folks to get services. And services that people need," Eric Friedlander, Health and Family Services secretary, said.
Friedlander was one of many featured speakers at a community panel at Norton Healthcare Sports and Learning Center in west Louisville Tuesday night.
Hosted by the Kentucky Criminal Justice Forum, the panel focused on what House Bill 7 means for families moving forward.
Supporters of the law argue it weeds out people taking advantage of the system, but opponents said it complicates the process for people like Katie Deering.
The peer support specialist at New Leaf Clinic receives SNAP benefits and helps others navigate the system.
"Gas is five dollars a gallon. Groceries are more expensive. Even we needed help. And we should just be able to say, 'hey, we need some help. We need help getting off our feet.' But the stipulations that house bill 7 has attached to them makes it harder in the long run,” she said.
The law also creates an oversight and advisory committee and a job placement assistance program.