Senate approves bill to allow child care as election expense
STATE HOUSE – The Senate yesterday approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Gayle L. Goldin to allow candidates for office to use campaign funds for child care while they are participating in elections activities, as federal candidates now can.
The bill (2019-H 0323) is designed to make Rhode Island campaign finance law mirror a 2018 Federal Elections Commission decision concerning New York congressional candidate Liuba Grechen Shirley that determined that childcare expenses that result from running for office are an allowable campaign expense.
“Rhode Island is better served when our elected officials truly reflect the people they represent, and that includes parents of young children. Child care expenses are a roadblock that excludes people from running for local or state office if their family isn’t wealthy enough to afford them. The FEC recognized that those costs arise because of a candidate’s campaign and should be allowed, so our state should follow suit. Doing so would remove a barrier that keeps qualified people from choosing to run,” said Senator Goldin (D-Dist. 3, Providence), whose own children are now teenagers who do not require child care. “You shouldn’t have to be wealthy to run for office.”
The bill is cosponsored by Sen. Sandra Cano (D-Dist. 8, Pawtucket), Sen. Maryellen Goodwin (D-Dist. 1, Providence), Sen. Bridget G. Valverde (D-Dist. 35, North Kingstown, East Greenwich, Narragansett, South Kingstown) and Sen. Adam J. Satchell (D-Dist. 9, West Warwick).
The legislation will now go to the House of Representatives, where Rep. Justine A. Caldwell (D-Dist. 30, East Greenwich, West Greenwich) is sponsoring companion legislation (2019-H 5736).
For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903