A year after playing a key role in establishing financial literacy as a priority in Kentucky’s high schools, state Rep. Jim DuPlessis is offering a related piece of legislation

House Bill 139 takes this urgent issue a step further. It calls for establishment of a Kentucky Financial Empowerment Commission expected “to develop and implement a plan toward increasing financial empowerment for all Kentuckians,” including K-12 students, state government workers, military veterans, those living below the statistical poverty threshold, people with disabilities and retirees.

In an era of governmental belt-tightening and massive unsatisfied pension obligations, DuPlessis’ idea for funding the commission’s work is perhaps the most novel aspect of the proposal.

It would be funded by private donations.

The business community, particularly lenders and investment experts, know that a basic understanding of finances is essential to any family’s prosperity.

It can help people avoid being ripped off and learn how to make money work for them.

This funding approach is no pipe dream.

DuPlessis comes to the table with support from Kentucky credit unions, including Fort Knox Fed­eral Credit Union. Its CEO Ray Springsteen recently spoke on behalf of the concept.

“Our credit union is committed to helping all Kentuckians become more financially independent,” Springsteen said. “Educational programs, like this one, are the first step.”

This bill could put Kentucky on the leading edge of financial literacy around the nation. DuPlessis, a Republican from Elizabethtown, has offered a workable and exciting proposal that deserves the General Assembly’s full consideration and support.

This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.

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