For The Children Weekly Column

A Victory for Children is Needed in 2024


Contact: Joe Dorman, CEO – Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy

Telephone: (405) 833-1117


OKLAHOMA CITY – For you NFL fans out there, if you watched the late game on Sunday, you saw the Kansas City Chiefs come away with a narrow win against the Buffalo Bills.  While the game was great, there was one moment that really stood out and it was not on the field.

No, I am not talking about when the camera caught Taylor Swift in a suite, but when her boyfriend’s brother, Jason Kelce, was seen celebrating a touchdown by Travis, the KC tight end. Cameras caught Jason letting out a tremendous yell, while shirtless, wearing sweatpants and a winter beanie, and holding a beverage that was not as cold as the air temperature around him.

In that moment, you saw pure, raw joy for a sibling who had a significant accomplishment. Both brothers have had very successful careers in professional football, with both playing against each other in the Super Bowl last year. Jason plays for the Eagles in Philadelphia, “The City of Brotherly Love,” and the two host the popular podcast New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce.

It is great to see siblings celebrate each other, and much of that can be credited back to their parents.  While Jason’s and Travis’ parents divorced following the college graduation of both, they are still very supportive of their children and this family story is one to celebrate. They were able to provide the tools for their children’s success.

On the eve of the Oklahoma legislative session, I am sure we will see several bills that will claim to support families.  In politics, family policy is often used as an agenda wedge for one party or the other to get some short-term political benefit. Fortunately, a unifying policy was reached last week by the U.S. Congress when a temporarily child tax credit expansion won a bipartisan committee vote. It was a rare moment of compromise in a divided Congress headed into a likely toxic election year. The Biden administration issued a statement that the White House is “encouraged” and “pleased” with the committee’s vote, and hopefully it will pass Congress soon and end up on the president’s desk.

It is that rare policy that is good for people who need it rather than one party or the other trying to stick it to the other. The bill, if eventually enacted into law, would increase the child tax credit incrementally for the taxable years 2023 through 2025 and adjust the credit for inflation. The amounts would increase from $1,800 in 2023 to $1,900 in 2024 and $2,000 in 2025. Under current tax law, parents can only receive up to $1,600 back per child to assist parents with single children or siblings.

Here in Oklahoma, our Legislature was called back into special session next week to address tax policy, a week before the regular session convenes. I encourage lawmakers to look to what the federal government is doing and consider an expanded tax break for Oklahomans with children.

An enhanced state tax credit for Oklahomans struggling to cover childcare costs, groceries, and other daily bills would also boost the economy through increased purchasing power for people who need help.

While I might not celebrate the same way as Jason Kelce did should the federal bill become law, or if our state lawmakers do more to support struggling families truly in need, I will certainly be very happy if better things for children happen in 2024.  Please do your part to reach out to state and federal lawmakers to encourage them to provide policy victories for children this year.