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Historic Alabama Child Care Tax Credit Bill Clears Final Legislative Hurdle

The bill now awaits Gov. Kay Ivey’s consideration and signature.

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The Legislature on Tuesday marked a historic moment for women and families across Alabama as House Bill 358, the Alabama Child Care Tax Credit bill, received unanimous approval in the Alabama Senate, clearing its final legislative hurdle with a resounding vote of 31-0.

Sponsored by Rep. Anthony Daniels, D-Huntsville, and Sen. Garlan Gudger, R-Cullman, this landmark legislation is poised to make a significant impact on the state’s workforce participation and family well-being.

The passage of HB358 represents a culmination of efforts from various stakeholders, with the Women’s Foundation of Alabama playing a pivotal role in advocating for its enactment. Melanie R. Bridgeforth, MSW, president and CEO of the Women’s Foundation of Alabama, emphasized the critical importance of addressing structural barriers to work, such as child care, stating, “Increasing women’s workforce participation is one of the most remarkable economic developments of the past and current century, and in our state, permanently removing structural barriers to work, such as child care, is a critical vehicle.”

The Women’s Foundation of Alabama, as the state’s only public women’s foundation, has long been at the forefront of advocating for policies that advance economic opportunities for women and families. Lajuana Bradford, Board Chair of the foundation, hailed the bipartisan support behind HB358, noting its significance in driving collaborative efforts to address pressing economic issues.

HB358 aims to incentivize employers and child care businesses to expand access to quality child care through a series of tax credits and grants. With an investment of $82.5 million over the next three years, the legislation has the potential to impact an estimated 58,000 families, providing much-needed support for working parents across the state.

Acknowledging the collective effort that propelled the bill forward, Bridgeforth praised Alabama’s legislative leadership for recognizing the importance of child care as a vital infrastructure. She stated, “Child care is just as important an infrastructure as a road or a bridge, and we applaud the Alabama Legislature’s decision to seize this watershed moment for women and Alabama’s economy.”

The passage of HB358 underscores the power of collaboration and grassroots advocacy in driving meaningful policy change. With support from over 45 organizations, businesses, and trade associations, including Manufacture Alabama, the Women’s Foundation of Alabama remains committed to advancing economic opportunities for women and fostering a more equitable society for all.

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As the bill now awaits Governor Kay Ivey’s consideration and signature, its approval heralds a new era of progress for women and families in Alabama, marking a significant step forward in addressing the critical need for accessible, affordable, and quality child care.

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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