It Creates an Open Door

June 20th, 2019

It Creates an Open Door 
(BISMARCK, ND) – Childcare is expensive. Republicans, not only nationally but here in North Dakota feel the solution would be to return to the traditional role of mothers staying home with their children while men work outside the home. Meanwhile, back in the fiscal reality of 2019, many families simply cannot afford that luxury.

Senator Joan Heckaman introduced SB 2276 that would have dedicated 5% of the investments made on behalf of the Legacy Fund to the Bank of North Dakota for a revolving loan fund to address community needs. These funds could have been used to support many community services including childcare centers. For the biennium, it would have generated an estimated $200M. The bill passed comfortably in the Senate, but Republicans killed the bill in the House.

In 2016 the eligibility rate of the child care assistance program was reduced from 85 percent to 60 percent. This change removed 850 children from the program. This session, Representative Ruth Buffalo introduced HB 1540 that would have reinstated the eligibility to 85 percent of the state median income level. This would have provided much needed financial relief for working families across the state, but unfortunately, the bill was killed by Republicans in the house.

Dem-NPL legislators understand that helping parents who are trying to provide the best life possible for their children is not radical- it’s just the right thing to do. “It’s unappealing for some to live in a state that doesn’t support new parents, or enrich the lives of our youth,” said Alison Jones, Communications Director for the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party.  “It creates an open door that competent, talented people are more than happy to walk right through.”