House weighs expanded access to child care assistance


House members on Tuesday considered two bills that would take similar steps to expand access to child care assistance for low-income families.

The House Early Childhood and Youth Development Policy Committee heard testimony on HF430, the proposed Family Economic Security Act, and HF951, the proposed Child Care Affordability Act. The committee approved both bills and referred them to the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee.

Both bills propose changes to the state’s child care assistance programs that would make subsidies available to more families. The proposed Family Economic Security Act would also raise the minimum wage, increase the working family tax credit and create a state version of the child tax credit, its supporters said.

Fiscal notes were not available for either bill on Tuesday.

HF430 is sponsored by Rep. Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) and has a Senate companion sponsored by Sen. David Tomassoni (DFL-Chisholm). That bill, SF399, has been referred to the Senate Jobs, Agriculture and Rural Development Committee.

HF951, which is sponsored by Rep. Rena Moran (DFL-St. Paul), is paired with SF788. Sponsored by Sen. Chris Eaton (DFL-Brooklyn Center), that bill has been referred to the Senate Health, Human Services and Housing Committee.