Murkowski Lauds Passage of Child Care and Development Block Grant Act

Senator’s Work to Alaskanize Legislation Included in Final Bill

Senator Murkowski today applauded the passage of the bipartisan S.1086 Child Care and Development Block Grant Act (CCDBG) by the U.S. Senate, sharing the following statement:

“I would like to commend the Senate for coming together in a bipartisan fashion to craft and pass such an important piece of legislation. This will assist states, tribes, and providers to improve the quality of child care for America’s working families,” said Murkowski, “Alaskan voices were heard, and many provisions of this bill will help Alaskan parents access higher-quality early education for their children. High quality child care not only benefits families, it benefits our economy by helping more parents train for and keep good jobs.”

The CCDBG provides formula-based block grant funds to states and tribes to subsidize child care for low-income parents who are either working or are attending college or job training. The legislation focuses on improving health and safety standards, placement stability, increasing school readiness, and improving consumer information while maintaining state and tribal flexibility.

Through her position on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Murkowski was able to insert language into the bill requested by the State of Alaska to address issues associated with inspections, complaint reporting, and stability of care.

In addition, she was able to secure two amendments to address high priorities brought forward by tribal childcare providers:

  • Franken/Murkowski Amendment– This amendment – which passed 96-3 – provides tribes with an opportunity to receive additional support for the child care that is so desperately needed to help Native children get a good start and to help local economies and job seekers. 
  • Tester/Murkowski Amendment – Passed unanimously, this amendment provides common-sense flexibility to Indian tribes or Native organizations to temporarily suspend services to renovate or expand their facility, as long as the project will result in better services for more children.

Senator Murkowski was unable to cast her vote in support of the bill because of weather delays on her flight back from Alaska.  The bill passed the Senate 88-1 and now heads to the President’s desk for signature.