Bill to provide funding for Greater Minnesota child care centers advances

Jeff Andrews of First Children's Finance, Luverne EDA Director Holly Sammons and bill author Rep. Bob Gunther testified in support of the bill.

Jeff Andrews of First Children’s Finance, Luverne EDA Director Holly Sammons and bill author Rep. Bob Gunther testified in support of the bill.

HF 4032 (authored by Rep. Bob Gunther, R-Fairmont) was heard in the House Health & Human Services Reform Committee last week. Joining Rep. Gunther to testify in support of the bill were Luverne Economic Development Director Holly Sammons, First Children’s Finance Business Development Director Jeff Andrews, former State Rep. Loren Solberg and Greater Minnesota Partnership (GMNP) Executive Director Dan Dorman.

Patterned after the very successful Greater Minnesota Business Development Public Infrastructure (BDPI) grant program, HF 4032 would provide matching grants of up to $500,000 to local units of government to build, renovate or expand child care centers to increase the number of child care slots in their communities. Like the BDPI program, the funds would come from the bonding bill, which requires the funds to flow to a local unit of government. The bill seeks $5 million for this new program.

The legislation was well-received by the committee, with many legislators speaking in favor of it. It now moves on to its next stop, the Capital Investment Committee. The companion bill, SF 3578 (authored by Sen. Kent Eken, DFL-Twin Valley), is currently awaiting a hearing in the Senate Capital Investment Committee.