November 25, 2022

Pittsburgh City Council Bill Introduced to Help Political Candidates Access Child Care | News | Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh City Councilman Corey O’Connor (D-Squirrel Hill) introduced a bill Oct. 12 to allow candidates for elected office in the city to use campaign funds for child care during an election cycle. Councilors Erika Strassburger, Daniel Lavelle, Deborah Gross, Bruce Kraus and Theresa Kail-Smith co-sponsored the bill.

If passed, the bill will amend the city code’s campaign finance regulation chapter and allow a candidate’s committee to use campaign funds for child care expenses incurred. while the candidate is engaged in campaign activity.

“A lot of contestants have kids and want to get involved, but you have to pay for childcare,” O’Connor said in an interview with city ​​paper. According to Economic Policy Institutethe average cost of childcare in Pennsylvania is nearly $1,000 per month, which is 17.5% of the median income of a family in the state.

The amendment states that child care includes, but is not limited to, professional or casual child care, non-profit or for-profit child care, and other costs directly related to child care. Pre-school, elementary and secondary education are not included and child care costs cannot include payments to a member of the nominee’s household or family.

Given that campaign activities can take place at any time of the day or night, the bill could help ensure that the cost of childcare will not be prohibitive for candidates, “so that a candidate doesn’t have to worry about where their child will be when they’re campaigning,” says O’Connor.

The bill will be discussed next Wednesday, October 20 at the meeting of the Permanent Council.