Candidates running for state or local office in New York will now be able to use campaign funds for child care expenses, according to legislation signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo Tuesday.
State law authorizes candidates to use donations for expenses directly tied to the political campaign.
The new law specifies dollars for kid care “incurred in the campaign” is permissible.
The law will take effect next year.
The topic became the springboard for national attention in 2018, when the Federal Election Commission decided Democratic congressional candidate for New York’s second district on Long Island, Liuba Grechen Shirley, could use campaign funds to care for her two toddlers.
The issue sparked national attention, including that from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Democrat Shirley lost in the general election to veteran GOP Rep. Peter King.
“Women face too many barriers when it comes to running for office and frankly child care expenses shouldn’t be one of them,” Cuomo said.
Supporters argue it significantly reduces barriers women face when deciding whether or not to launch a political bid at the expense of familial duties.
“’Run, momma, run,’ is the rallying cry for the cadre of women and mothers who are considering and running for elective office,” bill sponsor Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) said.
Currently, 70 women presently serve in the state Legislature, making up roughly 33 percent of both chambers.