Lawmakers in Carson City are determined to pass legislation to help working families pay for child care. There are two bills on the table.
Last week, the Senate Committee on Revenue and Economic Development considered a bill sponsored by State Senator Pat Spearman (D) - District 1 that would give up to a $2,500 credit to employers who helped employees pay for child care.
State Senator Patricia Farley (I) - District 8 sits on the committee that heard the argument. She also testified as herself in favor of the bill.
Farley and Spearman are co-sponsors of another bill, SB662, that will also allow the state to reimburse employers for helping with child care costs for their employees. It would limit the number of people who would be eligible. It would also allow a higher subsidy.
State Sen. Farley told KNPR's State of Nevada that her bill targets people who are already approved for help from the state to pay for child care, but are on a waiting list to get the needed funds.
The people in that state program have to have a household income 120 percent of the poverty limit.
Under Farley's bill, businesses would be able to step in where the government doesn't have the money and reap a benefit for themselves.
Farley said many businesses already offer child care subsidies for employees.
“Employers are contributing and helping now to no benefit to the employer and what I want to do is give the employer a benefit and an incentive to increase the program and increase helping with child care so they can stay at work,” she said.
Farley is a business owner herself and the mother to two young children. She said offering help with child care is a way to retain good employees.
“If you have a good employee and you’re helping with their child care, they’re probably not going to leave and they won’t leave for a dollar or two an hour because they realize you’re paying quite a bit to pay for the child care needs and that may not be offered at the next employer,” she said.
Farley also hopes the program address the scarcity of quality child care programs. Her hope is that when child care companies or people looking to open facilities see that more funds are available they'll decide to open more child care places.
The bill introduced by State Senator Patricia Spearman is open to a greater number of people and wouldn't be limited to people already approved for state subsidies.
This is part of the Democrats’ Nevada Blueprint, part of which is designed to help working families.
Farley said she is championing both bills because she wants to see something done to help families.
State Senator Patricia Farley (I) - District 8
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