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Politics & Government

Legislature approves expanding child care subsidies for low income families

The Legislature has approved a bill that would make subsidies available for low income families that need child care services.

The subsidies would be federally-funded. And they would be available to families at 85 percent or less of the state’s median income. Current state law provides that help for families at 50 percent of the state’s median income.

"We are seeing an unprecedented demand for child care, and an unprecedented growth in income," said Rep. Robin Weisz (R-Hurdsfield), who chaired the House-Senate conference committee that came up with the new language. "But not everyone is experincing the full effects of those increases in income. Yet they have the same child care needs as others do."

Rep. Kathy Hawken (R-Fargo) is a long-time advocate of child care assistance, and she's the bill's main sponsor. She called the conference committee compromise a “very good bill.”

“We're not trying to pay for people who have the boat in the garage, ” said Hawken. "This will truly help those people who really do need the help."

The measure now goes to Governor Dalrymple.

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