House Democrats today urged Gov. DeWine to line item veto a provision within House Bill 169 that would suspend Ohio’s Step Up to Quality Program, which Democrats say would hurt accessibility of quality, affordable childcare options for Ohio children and families. Senate Republicans added the last-minute provision to no longer require childcare centers to participate in the statewide rating system in order to receive public funds.
“The suspension of this requirement does not solve the issues faced by Ohio families in accessing affordable childcare or create a long-term solution for providers,” wrote Democrats. “The late addition of this provision would be an ineffective policy opposed by advocates and a detriment to the use of taxpayer dollars to provide quality early childhood education to all Ohio children. The need for these funds is clear to Ohioans and should not be held in the balance at the expense of our children and families.”
The provision was included in a bill to deliver $4.18 billion to invest in jobs, people and families, with the majority of funding coming as part of the American Rescue Plan Act passed by Democrats and signed into law by President Biden earlier this year.