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Child Care Tax Credit: Senate Floor Conversation with Senators – El Dorado Springs Sun

PHOTO: KRMS Radio

Child Tax Credit: Senate Bill 742 Seeks to Address the Shortage of Child Care Providers

Missouri child care shortage crisis

Child Care Tax Credit: Senate Floor Conversation with Senators – El Dorado Springs Sun. (PHOTO: Spectrum News)

Local Empowerment: SB 742 Aims to Give Communities More Say in Child Care Tax Credit Decision-Making

A bill that would have addressed the lack of child care providers was debated in the Missouri Senate and then was put on hold for the time being on Tuesday. This measure, Senate law 742 (SB 742), is a top goal for both Republicans and Democrats this year. It is modelled after a similar law that garnered bipartisan support in the House a few weeks ago.

Before it was postponed, Shelbina Republican Senator Cindy O’Laughlin, the Majority Floor Leader, stated that she was becoming more and more in favor of the bill. She stressed the importance of the measure in empowering local communities to determine and handle their unique child care needs, giving them authority over the distribution of funding, instead of depending on state-level decisions.

The main objective of SB 742 is to address the state’s declining supply of licensed child care providers—a condition brought to light by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, which revealed that there are 500 fewer providers than there were five years ago. Jamie Birch, the legislative director for Governor Mike Parson, underlined the seriousness of the child care crisis, citing a report that indicated the state could only accommodate 39% of children under the age of six. Furthermore, 89 out of 115 counties, or 77% of them, were designated as “child care deserts.”

READ ALSO: Child Care Assistance In Wisconsin: Governor Ever Increases While Rejecting Other Tax Credits

Key Provisions of SB 742 Child Care Tax Credits: Debates and Divergent Views

There are three primary provisions of the proposed measure. First of all, it provides a 75% tax credit to individuals depending on the amount they spend at child care facilities that are licensed. For example, a parent would earn a $7,500 tax credit if they spent $10,000 on nursery. Second, if companies pay for their employees’ child care, they are eligible to earn a 30% tax credit on their donations to child care providers. Finally, child care providers would be eligible for a full tax credit on the amount of income tax deducted for their staff, plus an extra 30% credit for facility upgrades.

Despite the fact that both parties support the law, certain opponents, like Senator law Eigel of the Freedom Caucus, argue against government involvement. Government intervention may not be the best course of action, according to Eigel, who also claims that growing child care expenses are a component of a larger inflationary trend. However, the bill’s proponent, Kansas City Democrat Senator Lauren Arthur, emphasizes the importance of high-quality child care for children’s development and how it supports lifelong learning.

Later in the legislative session, the bill can be brought back for additional discussion.

READ ALSO: Child Tax Credits Checks In 2024: Out Of 15 States, Are You Qualified?

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