Candidates for office would be able to use campaign donations for child care under new bill
Elected officials and candidates for office may soon be able to use campaign donations to pay for child care under a new bill that has bipartisan support in the New Jersey Legislature.
The bill is the brainchild of Republican Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz. It passed in the state Senate in February and in the state Assembly last week.
“You shouldn’t have to wait until your children are 15 and older to run for office,” says. “You should be able to do it when they’re younger.”
The bill would apply to both male and female politicians.
“It doesn’t benefit me at all. My youngest child is 27, let’s be clear about that,” says Munoz.
Munoz says that 30% of Democratic legislators and 25% of Republican legislators are female. She says that the bill is an effort to get more women into politics.
“We know we’re 50% of the population, so we would like to expand that, so we’re more equally represented…Right now, if I had to go to Trenton for a voting session and I had a child at home, I’d have to find child care,” she says. “If you have a child at home you may not be able to spend four hours on Saturday and Sunday of every weekend going door to door, or every evening from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. going door to door. And so those monies that you raised can be used for that.”
Politicians are already allowed to use campaign money for expensive dinner meetings, gas, staff members and clothes. Under the bill, the politician or candidate will not be allowed to pay family members to care for their children.
“The candidate him or herself will raise that money, and will use non-taxpayer money to pay for child care. This will not be one dime of taxpayer dollars,” says Munoz.
Gov. Phil Murphy’s office did not immediately return a request for comment on whether he would sign the bill.