BOSTON – Senator Sal DiDomenico recently joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts State Senate to pass legislation that would support parents running for public office by recognizing childcare as a valid campaign expense.
“The pandemic has made it abundantly clear that parents cannot go to work without access to childcare and our democracy is no different,” said Senator DiDomenico, Assistant Majority Leader of the Massachusetts Senate. “We want our elected representatives to look like all the people in our state, but we can’t make that happen if parents, especially women and people with low income, can’t afford childcare while running for office. This bill would take a big and important step forward in making it easier for parents to run for office and making the State House more representative of each of our districts. I want to thank Senate President Spilka and Senator Jehlen for all their efforts prioritizing this bill and shepherding it through the Senate.”
“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.”
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.