Public officeholders and candidates can use political contributions to pay for childcare related while they are campaigning or on official business after Gov. Phil Murphy signed a new law today.
“Public office holders and candidates often juggle parenting, their full-time careers, and their work in office and on the campaign trail,” Murphy said. “No one should be excluded from running for or serving in office because they cannot find or afford childcare.”
State Sen. Teresa Ruiz. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)
One of the sponsors of the bill, Senate President Pro-Tempore Teresa Ruiz (D-Newark), says that “parents, and especially women who are traditionally the main caretaker, will have the support they deserve to make the dream of running for office a reality.”
“It is an honor to sponsor legislation removing an obstacle that impedes some women from running for office and I am grateful Governor Murphy saw the value in it as well,” Ruiz said. “The more inclusive and diverse the individuals sitting around our policy decision-making tables, the better the outcomes are for the public.”
The bill, which was passed 36-0 in the Senate and 66-5 in the Assembly, was sponsored by Senate Judiciary Chairman Nicholas Scutari (D-Linden) Assistant Senate Majority Leader Sandra Cunningham (D-Jersey City), Assembly Minority Conference Chair Nancy Munoz (R-Summit), Assembly Budget Chair Eliana Pintor Marin (D-Newark), and Assembly Appropriations Vice Chair Gary Schaer (D-Passaic).
“Running for office takes a huge toll on a family’s budget, especially while raising children. Campaign funds for child care will remove a major financial obstacle for working families and mothers at a time when women are increasingly considering elected office,” said Vote Mama PAC CEO Liuba Grechen Shirley, a former New York congressional candidate who is leading a national movement to allow candidates to use their campaign accounts to pay for child care. “We desperately need working women in office who understand family needs firsthand, and I trust that this will expand and diversify the ranks of future candidates in New Jersey.”