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.


Cleveland State Host 8th Annual Multicultural Fair

Cleveland State Community College hosted its eighth annual Multicultural Fair on Saturday. The fair, designed to celebrate the different cultures, featured a colorful parade of nations, international studies information, booths featuring different nationalities, and culturally based entertainment, including the St. Therese Spanish Youth Dancers, Mawre and Company African Dance ... (click for more)

Baylor Community Service Group Leaves For Jamaica

Ten service-minded Baylor students left this week to travel to Jamaica over spring break, where they will work in the squatter community of Ferry, an orphanage in Kingston, the Home for the Aged, and primary schools in Kingston.  This year’s group includes James Atkins, Natalie Becker, Erin Blalock, Kathryn Cash, Caroline Combs, Natalie Javadi, Ansley McWilliams, Kate Probasco, ... (click for more)

Cleveland, Tn., Production Company Owner Charged With Defrauding Church Of God International Of $100,000

The head of a Cleveland, Tn., production company has been charged with defrauding the Cleveland-based Church of God International of $100,000 in connection with his part in setting up the church's world convention in Orlando, Fla., in 2010. Troy Scot Carter was charged by federal authorities with securities fraud. A four-page criminal information says the church hired Carter ... (click for more)

City Set To Commission $200,000 Mural On MLK Boulevard By Famed Muralist Meg Saligman; Foundations To Cover Cost

The city is set to commission a $200,000 mural on the side of the AT&T Building on MLK Boulevard by famed muralist Meg Saligman. Ms. Saligman has created over 50 murals all over the world, including one called  "Fertile Ground" that is 32,500 square feet in Omaha, Neb. Her most famous mural is "Common Threads" on the west wall of the Stevens Administrative Center ... (click for more)

Finley Stadium Needs To Grow Up - And Response

RE:  Finley Stadium Financial Picture Rosy; Beer And Alcohol Sales Approved; AstroTurf Almost Ready and City, County Pitching In $250,000 Each For New Finley Stadium AstroTurf I read a story here five days ago about a rosy future for Finley stadium. It lead me to believe that the stadium was making money and even improvements with donations.  Then we get a short ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Sunday Funnies

They say March roars in like a lion and leaves like a lamb. So as you reach for your lambs-wool sweater on this last Sunday of the month, allow me to lighten up a bit with a new edition of my Sunday Funnies. I have a delightful crowd that keeps me supplied in jokes and these are some of the best that have come my way: A WOMAN'S PERFECT BREAKFAST -- She's sitting at the table ... (click for more)