On Tuesday, July 30th, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law State Senator Shelley B. Mayer’s bill, S.2680A, that codifies into state law the right of candidates to use campaign funds to pay for childcare expenses incurred as a result of the parent’s candidacy and in the execution of their duties of public office.
State Senator Shelley B. Mayer said, “Today is a historic day for parents, particularly mothers, across Westchester and the state. I am thrilled that my bill allowing parents to use campaign funds to pay for childcare expenses incurred as a direct result of their candidacy was signed into law. I strongly believe that younger candidates, young mothers and fathers, need to join in the political process and run for local, state and federal office to better inform policies that affect families. This new law allows more young parents to run for public office, and we need their voices and experiences serving on local village and town boards, city councils, county legislatures, and state government.”
Senator Mayer continued, “Childcare expenses are a heavy burden for many families in Westchester, and these expenses should not prohibit qualified parents who want to serve their community in public office from running for office. Thank you to Liuba Grechen Shirley for spearheading this important issue nationally; thank you to Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal for sponsoring the bill in the Assembly; and thank you to Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing the bill into law.”
In a May 2018 decision, the Federal Elections Commission ruled unanimously in favor of New York Congressional candidate Liuba Grechen Shirley’s appeal to the FEC to use campaign funds to pay for a caregiver for her two young children while she ran for office.
The New York State Board of Elections released an advisory opinion in October 2018 that allowed candidates seeking local or statewide office the ability to use campaign funds for childcare expenses incurred as a direct result of campaigning.
By codifying the bill into state law, a candidate’s right to use campaign funds to pay for childcare expenses is protected from administrative changes enacted through the state Board of Elections.