In full transparency, the following is a press release from the Senate President’s office submitted to SOURCE media. (stock photo)
BOSTON – The Massachusetts State Senate on Thursday, December 15. passed legislation that would support parents running for public office by recognizing childcare as a valid campaign expense.
“Public service is a personal choice made more complicated and daunting for working parents, especially women, who face the added costs of childcare,” said Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). “While we’ve made great strides in diversifying our electoral representation in Massachusetts, there is much more we can do to make the decision to run for office easier for people with kids. I want to thank Senator Jehlen for championing this issue and look forward to it advancing in the legislative process.”
“This bill would break down a major barrier to open elective office to people who have traditionally not had that opportunity,” said Senator Patricia D. Jehlen (D-Sommerville), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development. “Many of us currently in office would not be here today if we didn’t have trusted people taking care of our kids while we knocked doors for our first campaigns. Allowing campaign finances to be used for child care means that more people in our communities can participate than ever before and amplify the voices of those who have previously not been heard.”
Under the bill, a political candidate would be able to expend campaign funds for childcare costs, using money raised in support of a political campaign. The bill tasks the Director of the Office of Campaign and Political Finance with the creation of regulation to oversee the implementation of this change.
The bill now heads to the Massachusetts House of Representatives for consideration.