FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Nathan Stein, House Minority Communications Director; email@example.com
Democrats Send Two Child Care Bills to Governor’s Desk
Rep. Alice Buckley’s HB 221 and HB 624 Clear the Legislature
Helena – Montana faces a significant shortage of affordable, accessible child care; more than half of children in Montana who need care do not have a spot available for them in a licensed daycare center. That lack of child care across the states has a significant impact on families, businesses and the Montana economy by holding parents back from stable employment and limiting Montana’s businesses ability to recruit and retain workers, which hampers economic growth. Increasing access to safe, affordable child care is crucial for supporting working Montana families. But after successful votes in both chambers yesterday, two bills sponsored by Democrat Representative Alice Buckley addressing the issue of child care are headed toward the Governor’s desk.
HB 221 will allow candidates for public office to use campaign funds for child care expenses, helping to reduce one of the most significant barriers that prospective candidates face. HB 624 will create a governor-appointed business task force on child care within the Department of Labor and Industry to examine the effects of child care affordability and accessibility on the workforce and on Montana businesses. Both bills represent a substantial step forward to addressing Montana’s child care shortage and ensuring that all Montanans are able to participate in the workforce and in public office.
“We cannot get the Montana economy up and running again if we continue to ignore our crippling shortage of high-quality, affordable child care.” said Rep. Alice Buckley. “HB 624 is good for Montana families, Montana businesses, and the Montana economy and we can’t wait to get to work on the recommendations from the task force over the next few years. HB 221 will decrease one of the barriers working parents face to running for office in Montana and will elevate our democratic process by bringing more perspectives and experiences into public office.”