Legislators Need to Hear From You Regarding Child Care
Did you know that not many people contact their legislators? The legislative process can be confusing, your busy and who wants to take the time to look at all those bills? We get it! The problem is that child care providers, parents and young children do not have powerful lobbyist groups at the Capitol. So it is very important for individuals to advocate for change. Right now legislators are listening and need your input or simply to hear from you that they need to act in regard to child care issues.
The Iowa House introduced a number of bills in an effort to impact child care from a few different angles, from business investment to the Child Care Assistance program. The bills listed below now sit to be taken up by the Senate and the first funnel date is March 5th, which means that if they are not passed out of committee by Friday, no action will be taken on these bills this year (termed the bill will 'die'). We urge individuals to call, text or email their legislators, especially members of the Senate, indicating your support for child care in general and/or listing specific bills that you support. Find your legislator.
SF 119 Increases the income level for eligibility for the Child and Dependent Care Credit and the Early Childhood Tax Credit from $45,000 to $90,000.
SF 283 Establishes a 12-month phase out of eligibility for childcare assistance after the gross income of the family has increased (between 225%-250% or 225%-275% for children with special needs). Sets a scale for payments. Requires the graduated phase-out to be implemented by July 2022. Requires the DHS to adopt rules.
SF 277 Allows a childcare home to care for five children if none are school-aged; six, if one is school-aged and seven if two are. Defines school age children as being between 4-14.
HF 292 Requires the DHS to set the Child Care Assistance program's reimbursement rate to 50% of the most recent market rate survey.
SF 122 Creates Workforce childcare incentives to encourage developers to complete childcare projects. Directs the EDA to award tax incentives (income and sales tax) and develops a formula for the incentives, based on the size of the city and includes requirements for matching funds. Allows a single project up to $200,000 in incentives, with 60% of the for projects reserved for smaller counties until May 1 each year. Caps the total at $3 million. Requires the EDA to revoke incentives if the developer defaults.
SF 176 Allows the creation or expansion of an on-site daycare at a business to qualify for credits under the High-Quality Jobs program. Authorizes the EDA to adopt rules on the matter. Requires the EDA to consider the quality of the jobs created and the impact on other childcare providers in the area, including determinations whether created jobs are displacing current jobs. Requires greater consideration to be given to projects in distressed areas, projects that care for more than 20 children, projects that are in underserved areas and projects that provide the care at a reduced cost. Allows incentives to be used for a refund of sales tax.
SF 123 Establishes credits against the income tax, franchise tax or gross premiums tax for businesses that offer childcare for employees of up to 25% of costs. Caps the credit at $150,000 and allows it to be carried forward. Includes building an on-site child center or leasing or paying the expenses of a childcare center.
HF 301 Creates the Iowa Childcare Workforce matching grant program under the ECI board to offer matching grants to communities for childcare WAGES program. Includes requirements for matching grants. Deems that any money in the matching grant fund to not revert. Requires the ECI and the DOM to adopt rules.
HF 324 Deems the acquisition of real estate for childcare facilities to be an essential corporate purpose for cities.
HF 141 Exempts wages earned from childcare services (at a facility or a childcare home) from the income tax.