ICYMI: Access to Childcare Means Access to the Workforce

June 6th, 2019

ICYMI: Access to Childcare Means Access to the Workforce
(BISMARCK, ND) – Yesterday, Representative Ruth Buffalo spoke with Jack Sunday. The two reviewed her legislative victories, including new legislation to protect indigenous and other vulnerable communities in North Dakota, and what the state needs to do to keep moving forward. One in every twenty North Dakotans have moved here within the last year, and passing legislation to retain workforce talent is something Representative Buffalo cares deeply about. One way to do this is to expand access to childcare.

During a special session in 2016, the Legislature passed a budget that made deep cuts to child care assistance. Senator Tim Mathern, (D-District 11) and state then-Representative Kathy Hogan, (D-District 21) tried unsuccessfully to make amendments on the bill. These amendments would have restored funding from the first allotment cuts then-Governor Dalrymple ordered earlier that year to the child care assistance program.

Representative Buffalo understood that “access to childcare means access to the workforce,” and sponsored HB 1540. This bill would have expanded access to childcare assistance for working families in North Dakota. Unfortunately, this bill failed in the House. In legislative sessions going forward, she hopes that both parties can work together to pass legislation that builds safer, stronger communities and bring forth an economy that works for all North Dakotans.

Listen to her entire interview with Jack Sunday here.