WEBSTER GROVES — Gov. Jay Nixon signed three bills that support foster parents and children, and to help support agencies that provide residential care and treatment for children, including the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home (MBCH). Nixon signed House Bills 1172, 1576 and 1577 June 25 alongside representatives from MBCH, and from other foster careand youth care agencies. All three bills go into effect Aug. 28.
“It’s a good example of the state and agencies like ours working together to help kids,” said Bob Kenison, MBCH president and the man who helped push the bills through the Legislature. “Everyone ought to be pleased with it.”
House Bill 1576 allows certain state-licensed foster care parents access to the same state health insurance as state employees. House Bill 1577 outlines criteria for school districts to help foster care children succeed in the classroom. House Bill 1172, re-establishes and expands a program that allows tax credits for agencies such as MBCH, and a tax credit program for donations to developmental disability care providers.
That last one is what Kenison said he is most pleased about. The residential tax credits in question allow a donor to purchase the credit, with the money going to MBCH and half the total coming off of their state income tax burden.
“There’s just not enough money in the state or federal budget to do everything,” he said. ”These residential tax credits help us take one dollar and make two out of it. It lets our donors dedicate their taxes and gives us more income. The kids get the care they need and the state is happy too.”
Kenison said last year MBCH raised about $1.3 through the tax credit. They hope to raise $2 million in 2012.