Senate Passes Child Care Bill Co-Authored By Alexander By Vote Of 97-1

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Senate on Thursday passed a bill co-authored by Senator Lamar Alexander to continue a successful program that provides child care vouchers to low-income children nationwide, including 39,000 in Tennessee. The Senate passed the bill 97 to 1.

“This week in Washington, I shared the success story of a Memphis mother who was able to earn a business degree at LeMoyne-Owen College because the state gave her a voucher to pay for the care of her infant child. Today, that mother is an assistant manager at a Memphis-area Walmart, and she’s paying the full cost of a second child’s care at the same center,” Senator Alexander said.

“Washington ideas are often big and burdensome with lots of rules, but this child care program has survived for more than two decades with a simple idea: Give states grants so they can help low-income parents pay for the child care that best suits their families. This year it helped the parents of about 1.5 million children receive child care so they could go to work or get an education and move up the economic ladder and reach the American dream.”

Senator Alexander said, “I am pleased the Senate passed it today after a good debate, during which senators had the opportunity to offer amendments and get votes on those amendments, and I hope we can achieve more good results like this.”

The Child Care and Development Block Grant program provides funding to states to subsidize child care for low-income families so that parents can work or participate in education and training activities.  The reauthorization bill incorporates feedback and suggestions provided to the Committee since 2012. It continues to provide freedom to states in administering the funds but makes improvements to ensure quality in the child care provided.

Importantly, the program continues to require parents to be working or attending school to receive the child care benefits, and allows them to choose the best child care provider for their family.

In 2012, this program allowed 39,000 Tennessee children to be cared for at about 6,300 providers in the state. The vast majority—more than 90 percent—of these children received care at a licensed provider, which means the facility is inspected at least four times per year, including for health and safety, and is subject to unannounced inspections.

Senator Alexander introduced the bill with committee chairman Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Ia.) and Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), and Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the former chairman and ranking member of the Subcommittee on Children and Families.

The legislation, which was unanimously approved by the Committee in September 2013, represents the 17th bipartisan HELP Committee bill in the 113th Congress to be considered by the full Senate. Ten of those bills have already been signed into law.


Chattanooga State Student Set To Receive Associate Of Science Degree Before High School Diploma

When interest surveys paralleled personal enjoyment, Emily Masters knew that her career goal would include helping others. Now, she will be graduating not only from Grundy County High School but also from Chattanooga State with 64 college credits under her belt and a 4.0 GPA. In May, Emily will receive her Associate of Science degree as a general transfer student before she receives ... (click for more)

Cleveland State Offers New Spring Line Up Of Continuing Education Courses

The Department of Continuing Education at Cleveland State Community College has a new line up of classes for spring. The upcoming classes are as follows: CREATIVE ARTS ?          T-Shirt Quilt Making Class This four-week session is an incredible way to preserve memories of all the sentimental t-shirts you’ve saved by ... (click for more)

Deonta Banks, 23, Shot On Wilcox Boulevard Early Sunday Morning

Deonta Banks, 23, was shot early Sunday morning on Wilcox Boulevard. At approximately  3 a.m.  the Chattanooga Police Department responded to shots fired at 3232 Wilcox Boulevard.  Upon arrival, Chattanooga police located a single victim, Deonta Banks, suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound. He  was transported to a local hospital for treatment. ... (click for more)

Man Stabbed In Domestic Dispute On Sunrise Lane Saturday Morning

A man was stabbed Saturday morning on Sunrise Lane.   At approximately  11:41  a.m., the Chattanooga Police Department responded to a reported stabbing at 309 Sunrise Lane.  Officers located a 45-year-old black male suffering from a non-life threatening stab wound. The victim was transported to a local hospital for his injury.   The ... (click for more)

Obama Doesn't Want You To Save For College

Over the past few decades, federal aid for post-secondary education has decreased and transitioned largely from grants to guaranteed student loans.   At the same time, the cost of college has far exceeded the cost of inflation creating a situation in which college has become less affordable and causing students to pile up debt that is at an all-time high.   This debt ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Great Peace Pipe

There is a serious rift between our state legislators and Erlanger Hospital that has me worried. If I worry about something, it doubles the power of the worry. My problem? I am convinced we have the best collection of people at the State Legislature in Nashville we’ve ever had – I adore each of them. I am also blessed to believe Erlanger is back on track and, after a sensational ... (click for more)