Cuomo signs law allowing candidates, officials to use campaign funds for child care

Cuomo signs law allowing candidates, officials to use campaign funds for child care
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New York politicians will now be able to use campaign funds for child care costs incurred during campaigns, while in office or while holding a party position.  

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who signed the bill Tuesday, said the change in election law aims to help more women run for office on the state and local level. 

"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 in a statement. "By signing this measure into law, we will build on the historic progress we've made toward gender equality and empower more parents — and mothers in particular — to seek public office to ensure the decision makers in Albany reflect the people they are elected to represent.”

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The bill goes into effect in 60 days. 

The state law follows the Federal Election Commission (FEC) ruling last year allowing candidates to use funds to cover child care cost. New York Democrat Liuba Grechen Shirley, who was unsuccessful in her bid to oust Republican incumbent Rep. Pete KingPeter (Pete) Thomas KingThe 9 House Republicans who support background checks Progressive gun control activist on NRA: 'Don't count them out' McConnell faces pressure to bring Senate back for gun legislation MORE, had reached out to the FEC, prompting the change. 

Shirley tweeted Tuesday thanking Cuomo and state Sen. Shelley Mayer (D) and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D), backers of the bill, on the new legislation. 

Last year when I put in the request to use campaign funds for childcare, I was worried the FEC would deny my request & I didn’t know how I could continue my campaign. Now, campaign funds for childcare is becoming the norm,” she tweeted.

Liuba founded Vote Mama, a group aimed at supporting Democratic moms with young children run for office. According to Vote Mama, New York is the 12th state to pass a law allowing candidates to use campaign funds to cover child care costs. 

Cuomo's office, citing the Center for American Women and Politics, said 33 percent of the state's executive and legislative officials are women, higher than the 29 percent national average.