COLUMBUS—Today, State Rep. Latyna Humphrey (D-Columbus) introduced House Bill (HB) 593, bipartisan legislation to allow campaign funds to cover certain child care costs. Currently, child care costs incurred during campaign events and activities are considered a personal expense and therefore are not eligible for reimbursement. This legislation would allow state and local candidates to use their campaign funds to pay for campaign-related childcare or dependent care expenses.
“HB 593 would ensure that no candidate is discouraged from running for political office simply because the cost of caring for their children is too high,” said Rep. Humphrey. “To have a healthy, representative democracy, it is critical that we reduce any financial barriers that may prevent citizens, especially women and people of color, from pursuing public service.”
Childcare obligations are one of the major factors women consider when weighing their decision to run for office. In many states, single parents spend nearly 40 percent of their pre-tax income on childcare. By the time American women are 44 years-old, 86 percent are mothers; yet, just six percent the members of the 117th Congress are mothers with school-aged children.
HB 593 would change the current campaign finance law to cover childcare expenses. Candidates who incur expenses relating to the provision of childcare services would be allowed to pay that bill with campaign funds they have raised. If passed, Ohio would join the 26 other states that have approved the use of campaign funds for childcare.
HB 593 now awaits referral to a House committee.