In a Wednesday afternoon hearing of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, Chairwoman Nancy King (District 39 – Montgomery County) detailed her proposal to increase Maryland’s Childcare Tax Credit which has remained unchanged for some twenty years. King’s legislation (Senate Bill 870), increases funding for the credit by more than $20 million per year, modernizes the credit, and benefits approximately 110,000 Marylanders who are currently struggling to pay for adequate child care.
Joined by family advocates from across Maryland, King stated: “Childcare costs for a family of four typically range from 16.1% to 29.7% of household income.” She noted that childcare costs are frequently either the first of the second highest expense that many families face.
Testimony from Margaret Williams of the Maryland Family Network, emphasized the point that the credit has remained unchanged for some two decades. She elaborated: “This bill (will allow) parents to go to work, to stay in school, to get training, and to get reliable childcare at the same time.” These facts were clearly not lost on King as she stated: “Offering this credit to middle-income parents will allow them to place their children in safe, high-quality care.”
King is joined in co-sponsorship of the legislation by thirty Senate colleagues including Senators Augustine (District 47 – Prince George’s), Beidle (District 32 – Anne Arundel), Benson (District 24 – Prince George’s), Carter (District 41 – Baltimore City), Elfreth (District 30 – Anne Arundel), Ellis (District 28 – Charles), Feldman (District 15 – Montgomery), Ferguson (District 46 – Baltimore City), Griffith (District 25 – Prince George’s), Guzzone (District 13 – Howard), Hayes (District 40 – Baltimore City), Hester (District 9 – Carroll and Howard), Kagan (District 17 – Montgomery), Kelley (District 10 – Baltimore County), Klausmeier (District 8 – Baltimore County), Kramer (District 19 – Montgomery), Lam (District 12 Baltimore and Howard Counties), Lee (District 16 – Montgomery), Miller (District 27 – Prince George’s, Charles, and Calvert), Nathan-Pulliam (District 44 – Baltimore City and Baltimore County), Patterson (District 26 – Prince George’s), Peters (District 23 – Prince George’s), Pinsky (District 22 – Prince George’s), Rosapepe (District 21 – Prince George’s and Anne Arundel), Smith (District 20 – Montgomery), Waldstreicher (District 18 – Montgomery), Washington (District 43 – Baltimore City), Young (District 3 – Frederick), Zirkin (District 11 – Baltimore County) and Zucker (District 14 – Montgomery).
Senate Bill 870 is cross-filed with House Bill 810 which is sponsored by Delegate Ariana Kelly (District 16 – Montgomery). Kelly’s legislation was also heard on Wednesday before the House Ways and Means Committee and boasts some 75 cosponsors in the 141-member House of Delegates. Both pieces of legislation now await votes from their respective committees of origin then, if successful, consideration from the full Senate and House Chambers. All legislation must successfully pass both the Maryland Senate and the Maryland House of Delegates by Sine Die on Monday, April 8th to be sent to Governor Hogan to be approved or vetoed.