Child care discussions continue at committee hearings

There has been a lot of activity on the child care front in the past week. On March 1, the House Early Childhood Committee and the Jobs Committee held a joint hearing in St. Cloud. The purpose of the hearing was to highlight the economic and employment impacts of the child care crisis. The challenge in Greater Minnesota was highlighted by two testifiers: Carol Anderson, executive director of the Community Development Morrison County, and Jason Polovick, administrator at Todd County Care Center.

On Tuesday, our two child care bills were heard in the House Jobs and Workforce Development Committee. Rep. Jeff Brand (DFL-St. Peter) presented HF 422 and HF 423 and explained how the city of St. Peter recently used efforts similar to those permitted in the bills to address St. Peter’s child care crisis and add a number of new child care slots. GMNP Executive Director Dan Dorman testified about the economic impact the child care crisis is having in Greater Minnesota, especially as it relates to attracting and growing employers and retaining workers. Dorman was joined in testifying by Scott Marquardt from the Southwest Initiative Foundation and Nancy Jost from the West Central Initiative Foundation.

Finally, GMNP/CGMC lobbyist Scott McMahon testified in the Senate Taxes Committee on a child care tax credit bill, SF 1110. In both the Senate and previously on the bill in the House, McMahon testified that because of how the credits are constructed, they would have minimal impact on child care workforce or affordability issues in Greater Minnesota.