Rally held to support bills aimed at helping Kentucky children

Children were the focus of a rally outside the state capitol Thursday morning.

Several groups pushed for laws they say will make Kentucky more family friendly.

Children and adults from all over Kentucky swarmed the terrace between the capitol and the annex, speaking out on a number of bills they say will help children.

Once of those is the dropout bill, which will increase the dropout age in Kentucky high schools from 16 to 18.

People at the rally also pushed other bills. Among them, one to prevent incarceration for certain youth crimes, like skipping school.

Another bill would focus on curbing childhood obesity.

Governor Steve Beshear spoke at the rally, and called on people to push the dropout bill through the legislature.

"Figures tell us that a person who drops out at 16 in Kentucky is going to make about $7,000 a year less on the average than someone who graduates high school," Gov. Beshear said.

The dropout bill passed the House, but it faces some uncertainty in the Senate.

Youth advocates also spoke out Thursday in support of a bill that would have limited the interest rate for pay day lenders to 36 percent.

That bill died in a house committee yesterday.

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