Actress Jennifer Garner promotes 'Save the Children' at Ky. Stat - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Actress Jennifer Garner promotes 'Save the Children' at Ky. State Capitol

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- Hollywood came to Kentucky's Capitol Tuesday as a movie star played a starring role in the debate over the state's budget.

Committee meetings at the Capitol don't normally attract overflow crowds, but this was not normal.

It resembled a Hollywood premiere -- just without the red carpet.

Actress Jennifer Garner appeared at the Capitol to promote Save the Children, which has provided childhood literacy programs in Kentucky since the 1930s.

“I believe so strongly in the work that we do for children, and certainly nowhere is it done more effectively than here in Kentucky. This is a model for the rest of the country,” Garner told lawmakers in appearances at both a House and Senate committee.

Garner, who serves on the organization's board, was accompanied by Mark Shriver, a member of the legendary Kennedy family and an executive with Save the Children.

Beyond photo ops, they're trying to preserve nearly a million dollars a year in state funding for the program.

Shriver says that acts as seed money, attracting 10-times the investment from private sources.

“For the million dollars that the state is putting into Save the Children's work, Save the Children is gathering $10 million, over $10 million, and investing it in our work across Kentucky from Louisville to Berea and to eastern Kentucky as well,” said Shriver.

The two also met privately with Gov. Matt Bevin, who has proposed 9 percent cuts in the state budget.

Shriver says the governor was receptive, agreeing that the key is results.

“If the results aren't good, I think those programs should be cut. We think that the record here in Kentucky is exceedingly strong,” Shriver told reporters.

Senate president Robert Stivers, a long-time supporter of Save the Children, says he's confident it will survive state budget cuts.

It’s a testament, perhaps, to star power, and to the program's long time presence in Kentucky.

“And I'm here to celebrate that work, to lift it up, and to encourage you to continue supporting us so that we can continue to do this work with you and for your great kids,” said Garner.

Garner and Shriver are also appearing in Frankfort at the screening of a documentary and a panel discussion on the impact of poverty.

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