Lawmakers call on governor to pass child care legislation

Originally published in on .

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Local Democratic lawmakers are calling on the governor to sign key pieces of legislation to help alleviate the burden of New York’s ongoing child care crisis.

The four bills have all passed the State Senate and Assembly. Now, lawmakers are urging Gov. Hochul to sign them to hopefully ease the hardships on parents, their children, and child care providers.

“We have applied for help for child care and we’re still pending. That was in mid April and it’s now almost mid July and we’re still pending,” said Christian Serrano, a father of two.

Many families, like Serrano’s, feel they are at a standstill as they await child care coverage this summer.

Lawmakers are set out to see approval from the governor on this legislation, which includes the option to give families no restrictions on eligibility, another to offer parents who receive child care assistance the same flexibility as private pay families on drop-offs and pickups, one to allow help for families in paying for child care as their application is processed, and early intervention reform.

“It’s a very sensible solution. It’s quite obvious, and yet it has taken New York State so long to actually pass this in both Houses this year. This will create a fill-gap during that period. We’ve already seen success with this program here in Monroe County, and with creating this statewide legislation, we’re also going to allow the state to potentially save dollars by drawing down on federal funding that’s been made specifically to make child care have more universal access,” said Sen. Samra Brouk of the 55th NYS Senate District.

A 2023 poll showed for Monroe Co. families making less than $100,000 per year, 66 percent are facing challenges making rent and housing payments.

Both parents and leaders are anticipating the governor’s approval sooner than later.

“I’ve been a mom for 28 years, and they have not gone away. They’re still the same, in fact, they may be even more complicated,” said Isabel Rosa, a mother of three.

“Now that the legislature has done its job, we need to make sure the governor does her job and supports those bills that can make a big difference for families,” said Larry Marx, CEO of The Children’s Agenda.

The governor has until the end of the calendar year to approve or veto the legislation. According to lawmakers, so far, they have not been called to her desk.