COLUMBUS —Last week, State Rep. Latyna M. Humphrey (D-Columbus) testified on House Bill (HB) 593, her 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.
“This bill will eliminate a significant financial barrier that working parents and caregivers face when running for office. HB 593 would ultimately increase the representation of working parents in state and local office by ensuring no candidate is discouraged from running for office due to childcare costs,” said Rep. Humphrey.
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 further hearings in the Ohio House Government Oversight Committee.