With the state budget passed into law, which funds many priorities essential to the 93rd Assembly District, like fixing our roads, job training, and increasing resources for our community …
With the state budget passed into law, which funds many priorities essential to the 93rd Assembly District, like fixing our roads, job training, and increasing resources for our community schools, the State Assembly is now working on delivering the remaining state's surplus back to you. That is why I was honored to co-author and vote to pass legislation in the State Assembly this week to restore much of the remainder of the state's budget surplus to you.
The recently passed legislation reduces taxes for the middle class while simultaneously offering tax relief for senior citizens, many of whom are on fixed incomes. The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimates that taxpayers would save $772 under this bill. Wisconsin has slashed $22 billion in taxes since I was elected, but we need to do more since Wisconsin still has a higher individual income tax burden than many of our neighboring states.
In addition, the Assembly is set to enact a package of bills that I co-authored to help address escalating child care costs for our families. Currently, the average monthly bill for full-time child care in Wisconsin is around 20% of a median family's income. At the same time, childcare providers are confronting increased prices while dealing with some of the nation's most stringent regulations, which are driving up costs.
One of the first bills in the package would authorize the creation of tax-free savings accounts for qualifying child care expenses, similar to what families are able to do for college and healthcare expenses. Parents and other family members would be able to contribute up to $10,000 each year, state tax-free, to help cover future childcare bills. This bill would also give families who do not have access to these benefits through an employer-sponsored tax-deferred program the option of opening an account for future childcare bills.
Another item in the childcare package proposed by local Representative Karen Hurd will serve to help child care providers afford the costs of expanding and serving additional children. The Childcare Renovations Loan Program would provide interest-free loans to childcare providers to assist them renovate their facilities or develop new locations. In addition to assisting larger facilities, the loans would assist more in-home child care providers in starting up and expanding their capacity.
Finally, a number of the proposals will right-size Wisconsin's regulations by increasing the capacity of children at centers while also giving parents more options to pick what is best for their child. This includes allowing for the establishment of large family child care centers, which are permitted in 37 other states, including Minnesota and Illinois. Furthermore, this legislation aligns our standards and ratios with surrounding states to guarantee that caregivers can care for our children while providing a safe environment in which they can grow and learn.
I am looking forward to seeing these bills pass the Senate and make their way to the Governor's desk for his signing, so that we can give much-needed tax relief while also making childcare more accessible to our families.