Lawmakers doing right for Ohio families

Though it’s a lot to wade through, Ohio lawmakers appear to have their hearts in the right place with the number of child care-related bills being churned through Columbus.

A report by the Ohio Capital Journal detailed a few. There’s House Bill 576, supplementing federal tax credits “associated with acquiring, constructing, rehabilitating or expanding property used as the employer taxpayer’s qualified child care facility,” operating expenses for child care workers and “qualified resource and referral expenditures,” which can include contracts with child care facilities.

Or House Bill 577, which would offer $3,000 per child or up to $6,000 per family in tax credits specifically for child care. State Rep. Andrea White, R-Kettering, was right to pair that one with the growth of our economy.

“It’s kind of like, you can have the job, but if you don’t have the skills to get the job and you don’t have the transportation or the child care to ensure that you can make it to work every day, we will never be able to fill these jobs that we have been so fortunate to attract in Ohio,” White said, according to the Capital Journal.

How about House Bill 578? White says it would create a nonrefundable tax credit for Ohioans who “make a financial contribution to a qualified child care provider, including family home or center-based child care providers and day camps.”

Meanwhile, Senate Bill 273, introduced by State Sen. Michele Reynolds, R-Canal Winchester, would create a program that permits the cost of child care to be shared equally by eligible Ohio families, their employers, and the Department of Children and Youth, with each contributing a one-third share.

“Child care is essential for our families to thrive, but the rising cost is putting a strain on Ohioans’ household budgets and lives,” Reynolds said back in May.

With so many efforts to do better for Ohio families, the difficulty now is in untangling what they all mean — and making the improvements while still being responsible to taxpayers. It is important the bills do not create bureaucracy for bureaucracy’s sake or duplicate effort.

If they can navigate it all responsibly, however, it seems as though lawmakers are on the right track to help Ohio families build better lives for themselves. That will build a better Buckeye State for us all.



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