What we’re watching: February 2024 local and federal policy update


This is our first local and federal policy update related to legislative issues we’re tracking in Kansas and Missouri, as well as how they advance — or counteract — the strategies laid out in our purpose plan.

Here is a transcript of the video above.

Hello, my name is Robert Gibson – Policy Impact Strategist and one of the newest team members at Health Forward Foundation. I’m grateful to be a part of the work we are doing every day to support and build inclusive, powerful, and healthy communities characterized by racial equity and economically just systems.

In my role at Health Forward, I connect with our grantees and local officials, to serve as an advocate and resource regarding local and federal policies that impact our communities of service.

In addition to our monthly state legislative updates – you will also be receiving monthly local and federal updates from yours truly.

Let’s begin my discussing some things that have happened recently on the local level:


In Kansas, Board of County Commissioners in Allen, Johnson, and Wyandotte County kicked off new legislative sessions in 2024:

  1. Health-related news of note in Wyandotte County occurred in December 2023 when the board approved a resolution in support of Medicaid aka “Kancare” Expansion.
  2. This follows the Board of County Commissioners in Johnson County presenting Governor Laura Kelly with a proclamation in October 2023 to support state legislative efforts to expand Medicaid in KS.
  3. These displays of legislative support are important “wins” for Governor Kelly as she works to get Medicaid Expansion legislative passed during the 2024 Kansas Legislative Session.


Moving to Missouri, of important note was the city council of Kansas City, Missouri passing an ordinance that bans source of income discrimination. An example of a source of income would be a Section 8 housing voucher. Additionally, Mayor Quinton Lucas sponsored the ordinance and it will take effect on May 1st of this year. As more than 50% of the people who live in Kansas City, Missouri rent, this ordinance should increase the opportunities available to residents when it comes to securing housing.

Now we will move on to the federal legislation we are tracking.

Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)

It was recently announced that the Affordable Connectivity Program, also referred to as ACP, would be ending in 2024. This program stopped accepting new applications and enrollments on February 8th of this year, barring additional funding from Congress, April 2024 is expected to be the last month enrolled. Households will receive the full benefit. This program started in December of 2021 and replaced a similarly structured emergency broadband benefit program that was started during the pandemic. The A CP program is a Federal Communications Commission — a.k.a. FCC — program that helps ensure households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare, and more. If you have questions about the program or how these changes may affect you or someone you know, please go to getinternet.gov.

Child Tax Credit

Lastly, since we are right in the thick of tax season, this last update will be of interest to many of you. The bipartisan Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act (H.R. 7024), which contains improvements in the Child Tax Credit, passed in the U.S. House of Representatives in January 2024 and will now be heard in the Senate.

H.R. 7024 makes critical improvements to the Child Tax Credit. Under the current structure of the credit, families with very low and modest incomes don’t qualify for the full credit. H.R. 7024 addresses this concern by increasing the amount of the credit that is refundable, as well as applying the tax credit on a per-child rather than family basis. These changes will have a significant impact for families with the lowest incomes. For more information on the Child Tax Credit, please utilize the links below this video.

Well, that wraps up the first EVER Health Forward local and federal legislative update! In coming videos, we will provide useful information that help you and others in our community live inclusive, powerful, and healthy lives. Until next time, take care and be well.