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Child Care Legislation and 2018 State of the State

I am introducing two pieces of legislation this Session to address the issue of child care expense. The cost of child care in Maryland for a family of four averages from 16.1% to 29.7% of the family's household income. This makes child care in some areas of the state the first or second highest household expense over housing, income taxes and food.

The first piece of legislation I am introducing deals with the State Child Care Subsidy program. Federal law requires "equal access" to child care for low-income families, and strongly urges states to set rates that give access to at least 75% of child care programs. Maryland right now ranks near the very bottom of the 50 states in access and affordability of the Child Care Subsidy Program. The legislation I have sponsored (SB379) will raise our current rates over the next three fiscal years enabling more parents to return to the workforce and ensuring access to safe, quality care.

The Baltimore Sun published an article this week about the importance of the subsidy program. You can read that article here.

Maryland currently provides a tax credit for child and dependent care expenses for individuals whose adjusted gross income does not exceed $50,000. The second piece of legislation I am introducing (SB422), will increase the income levels for eligibility for the credit to $100,000 for individuals and $150,000 for couples filing a joint return. This legislation will increase parents' ability to pay for child care, allow parents to return or stay in the work force and place their children in safe, high quality care.

Both of these bills will be heard on February 14th.

State of the State

On Wednesday of this week, Governor Hogan presented his State of the State address. I was honored to be asked to give the Democratic view of the State of the State. Both the Governor's speech and my remarks can be found here. The Governor's speech begins at the 7:46 mark and my remarks are at 30:53. 

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