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As I write this, we’ve just completed our fifth week of session and I’d like to highlight you on just some of the topics that we touched base on this week and the progress that we are making towards funding our schools and addressing child care shortages across the state.

Over the last week, I’ve had an abundance of people reaching out with concerns in our educational funding. On Thursday, we passed House File 438, a 2.4% increase to FY21 State Supplemental Aid. It will increase the state cost per pupil to $7,227 and also raises the transportation equity at the same percentage rate.

Another issue that I have been hearing about is concerns with House File 439. HF 439 distributes a total of thirty million dollars to school districts across the state. This bill is meant to address the additional costs that schools incurred to have classrooms operating in-person during the pandemic. The schools in our house district worked so hard to stay open during the pandemic and I believe that they need this money to offset some costs that they wouldn’t have otherwise incurred if it weren’t for the situation over the last year. This is why I will be voting yes on HF 439.

Our child care shortage in this state is inhibiting our economic growth and is causing a ‘squeeze’ on families across the state. This week we passed six important pieces of legislation to bridge the gap and give relief to the families that need it most. One of the biggest steps that we took was we raised the income threshold for the Child Care Tax Credit from $45,000 to $90,000. We also created incentives for employers to provide child care for their employees and created an ‘off ramp’ for parents so they could continue to grow in their careers without losing the entirety of their childcare assistance, all at once.

Author: Tom Jeneary