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.

Sanderson To Speak At Lee Winter Commencement

Dr. Carla Sanderson, vice president of Chamberlain College of Nursing, will deliver the address at Lee University’s winter commencement ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 10:30 a.m. in the Conn Center.  Dr. Sanderson is the vice president of accreditation and professional regulation at Chamberlain College of Nursing. Previously, she served for 32 years as provost and executive ... (click for more)

Von Streber Named Crosby Scholar

Lee University student Guilherme von Streber was the recipient of the 2015 Crosby Scholarship, presented by Lee President Dr. Paul Conn during a chapel service.  The Crosby Scholarship was established to honor the memory of Dr. Henry Crosby, a close friend of Dr. Conn and his wife Darlia. Faculty members nominate a young man entering his junior year for the scholarship. ... (click for more)

City Council To Consider Policy That Job Applicants Would Not Have To Reveal Criminal Records

The City Council on Tuesday night will consider a policy that city job applicants would not have to reveal their criminal past. Councilman Yusuf Hakeem cited problems those with felony records have in securing employment. The policy would go into effect by the first of the year. The resolution says: WHEREAS, the City of Chattanooga (the "City") is committed ... (click for more)

City Considering Measure That Would Require City Employees To Be Tennessee Residents

The City Council is considering an ordinance that would require city employees to be residents of the state of Tennessee. The city has employees who live in North Georgia and North Alabama and that is allowed.  If the ordinance is approved by the City Council, it still would need to be okayed by a majority of city voters in an election. The measure will be considered ... (click for more)

An Extra Helping Of Gratitude

After being thankful for the grace of God, my family and good health, this year I have an extra helping of gratitude to live in a special place called Chattanooga.   We endured the trauma of terrorism on July 16 and emerged more united and stronger than ever before.  We claim our heritage and celebrate our diversity like no other city in America.  We honor our ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We Can’t ‘Ban The Box’

I know a man who has over 20 former convicts from federal prisons who either work for him or who have retired with their dignity, pride, and self-worth restored. Better yet, I know some of them, men who have done “hard time” in prisons so wretched none of us would dare to go. So on the surface I applaud City Councilman Yusef Hakeem for seeing ways to get formerly incarcerated men ... (click for more)