Children’s advocates reflect on investments in quality-of-life programs

Hosted By: Tim Carpenter - August 24, 2020


John Wilson, president of Kansas Action for Children, and Melissa Rooker, executive director of the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund, outline concerns for more than 100,000 children living in poverty in Kansas.

  • Wilson says thousands of kids would suffer protracted harm if spending were slashed on programs that feed, house, educate and promote quality of life for children not living in affluent families.
  • “I’m advocating for a tax increase or closing loopholes that exist,” Wilson said. “There is no way around it. We have lived through austerity in the state of Kansas. And it is not pretty. The effects, some of them are immediate, but a lot of them are long term things that bubble up.”
  • Rooker says action by state lawmakers to expand eligibility for Medicaid would have a profound influence on the lives of these children. It’s estimated the reform could extend preventative health coverage to as many as 130,000 low- or moderate-income families.
  • “It’s immoral that people do not have a safe, reliable way to access the health care they need to keep themselves and their children safe,” Rooker said.


Melissa Rooker

Executive director of the Kansas Children's Cabinet

John Wilson

President of Kansas Action for Children

Tim Carpenter

Host, Kansas Reflector podcast