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Dear NCCA Member,

During the month of April, LobbyIt met with staff in Senators Burr and King's office to discuss the Promoting Affordable Childcare for Everyone (PACE) Act. The bill, introduced by Senators Burr and King, seeks to improve the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC). Additionally, LobbyIt met with Senate HELP appropriators to discuss the Child Care and Development Block Grant Program (CCDBG).
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Stakeholder Meetings
Meeting with Senators Burr and King:

President Trump supports the CDCTC, but under current law, the credit is not refundable. With the PACE Act, Senators Burr and King would expand eligibility for the CDCTC program. It would also make the tax credit refundable, and would index the credit to inflation. The PACE Act would also improve Flexible Savings Accounts (FSA) by increasing the allowable amount of pre-tax dollars that can be saved to the account, as well as indexing the increased cap to inflation.During our meeting with HELP staff, we discussed issues on the horizon for the CCDBG program.

The 2014 reauthorization of the CCDBG program imposed new mandates, such as requiring that states need to background checks. The CCDBG program had a $95 million increase for from FY 16 to FY17. However, now with new mandates set to kick in in FY18, the funding isn't enough.The 2014 also reauthorization increased the amount of funds reserved for childcare quality improvement activities (also known as the Quality Set Aside, or QSA) from 4% to 7%. In FY18, in addition to the increase to 7%, the QSA must also include 3% that is directly targets activities for infants and toddlers. LobbyIt staff was among others who are asking Congress to increase the amount of FY18 funding for the CCDBG program by $1.4 billion dollars. This money will go towards helping states meet the mandate, in addition to ensuring that children don't lose access to child care.

In the next month, LobbyIt will be meeting with House appropriators to discuss CCDBG and encourage an increase in funding for the program.
Legislative/Regulatory Outlook and Activity
Sponsor:Green, A. (D-Texas)
Introduced:1/3/2017
A bill to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to provide for the calculation of the minimum wage based on the Federal poverty threshold for a family of 4, as determined by the Bureau of the Census.

Sponsor:Green, G. (D-Texas)
Introduced:1/3/2017
A bill to direct the Secretary of Labor to revise regulations concerning the recording and reporting of occupational injuries and illnesses under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

 
Representative Steve King (R-IA) introduced this bill on January 23, 2017. On January 23, 2017, the bill was referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. RepresentativesAndy Harris (R-MD)andTrent Franks (R-AZ)are currently cosponsoring this bill.
 
This bill repeals the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and limits the authority of the Department of Education (ED) such that ED is authorized only to award block grants to qualified states. The bill establishes an education voucher program, through which each state shall distribute block grant funds among local educational agencies (LEAs) based on the number of eligible children within each LEA's geographicalarea. From these amounts, each LEA shall: (1) distribute a portion of funds to parents who elect to enroll their child in a private school or to home-school their child, and (2) do so in a manner that ensures that such payments will be used for appropriate educational expenses. To be eligible to receive a block grant, a state must: (1) comply with education voucher program requirements, and (2) make it lawful for parents of an eligible child to elect to enroll their child in any public or private elementary or secondary school in the state or to home-school their child. The bill repeals a specified rule that established certain nutrition standards for the national school lunch and breakfast programs. (In general, the rule requires schools to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or fat free milk in school meals; reduce the levels of sodium, saturated fat, andtrans fatin school meals; and meet children's nutritional needs within their caloric requirements.)


Until next month,

Lobbyit.com

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