Bill would allow campaign funds to cover child care

An elected officials’ child care expenses could be paid for with campaign funds under a bill considered Feb. 20 by the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.

Sen. Megan Hunt
Sen. Megan Hunt

LB935, introduced by Omaha Sen. Megan Hunt, would change the Nebraska Political Accountability and Disclosure Act to allow an officeholder to use campaign money to pay for child care for an immediate family member while the officeholder is performing his or her duties.

Current law allows a candidate to use campaign funds to pay child care expenses, Hunt said, but not after that candidate becomes a public official.

Hunt said current law would allow her to use campaign donations to take colleagues out to dinner but not to pay a babysitter. LB935 would allow more lower-income, single women to run for office, she said.

“Women spend nearly twice as much as men on child care according to the Pew Research Center and are running for office in greater numbers than ever in the history of the United States,” Hunt said. “Officeholder-related child care expenses are unavoidable.”

Kelsey Waldron of the Women’s Fund of Omaha testified in support of LB935. She said child care costs are high in Nebraska, limiting opportunities for lower-income Nebraskans to run for office.

Westin Miller of Civic Nebraska also spoke in support of the bill. He said all campaign expenditures should be scrutinized, but that the bill is limited and would solve a specific problem.

No one testified in opposition to LB935 and the committee took no immediate action on it.

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