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Romney's Child Tax Credit Plan Lauded By Voices For Utah Children

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The Federal childcare subsidy program provides nearly $100 million a year to assist low-income Utah families who enroll their children in approved programs. Utah Senator Mitt Romney has a bill that would redirect those funds away from childcare and pay families directly through a Child Tax Credit.

Utah Senator Mitt Romney's Family Security Act proposes to pay families $350 per month for every child under six years old and $250.00 per month for every child six to seventeen. The cash payments under his plan would apply to up to five children per family.

He proposes eliminating some federal programs like subsidies going directly to childcare facilities. Romney believes the existing childcare center payments encourage parents of young children to work outside the home, leaving those who stay home with children at an economic disadvantage. Romney presented his proposal at a Deseret News Family Matters Webinar this spring. His plan would update or eliminate some existing federal policies and provide a monthly cash benefit for every child.

"First of all, instead of saying we're going to send hundreds of billions of dollars to government-approved childcare centers being subsidized, we'll provide care to children, we instead say look we're going to provide that funding instead, to families, and let families make the decision as to how they want to care for their child and if they want to care for the child at home with perhaps one of the parents staying at home themselves or perhaps a grandparent taking care of a child or an aunt or an uncle, they're able to make that choice and use their funds accordingly. Parents know better, their own circumstances their own ability to help raise a child, they know better what's right for their child than the government does in Washington, so give the parents, the resources to make their own choice."

Voices for Utah Children State Fiscal Policy Director Matthew Weinstein said the Romney proposal would do more to address child poverty than has occurred in decades.

"And the most important thing I think to know about Senator Romney's proposed family Security Act is that it really is one of the boldest and most far-reaching proposals to reduce child poverty that we've seen from either side of the aisle in the last 50 years, and he's really to be applauded for thinking big, and for keeping his eyes on the ball of wanting to reduce child poverty."

Weinstein said child poverty in Utah is lower than in many other states, but rates are still high compared to other developed countries.

"The US really stands out as having one of the highest child poverty rates among comparable nations. Even here in Utah, where we have a relatively low child poverty rate, compared to other states. We're off the charts compared to other comparable countries where about 10% is the latest data that we have for poverty, per children here in Utah."

Democrats and President Biden also have proposals to expand the child tax credit.

Weinstein said Romney's initiative would be a permanent child tax benefit with no minimum income limits.

"It's a proposal that he made back in February and got a lot of attention for it at the time. Senator Romney continues to be very much in the mix in the ongoing negotiations between Democrats and Republicans, between Congress and the White House over the future of the Child Tax Credit."

According to his spokesperson, Senator Romney continues work on his child tax credit plan, but the focus is negotiating the current federal infrastructure bill.

KPCW news reports on issues affecting children aged zero through three years old is brought to you by the Early Childhood fund at the Park City Community Foundation. For more information, go to early childhood Alliance dotnet.

 
 
 

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