Republican Legislation Takes Aim at Improving The Lives of California Working Families

Legislation is a win-win for families, schools and the economy
Tuesday, April 28, 2015

SACRAMENTO – Three important pieces of legislation introduced by Senate Republican members that aim at growing the middle class through opportunity will be heard in committees this week.

Among the legislation being considered is:

Senate Bill 152, authored by Sen. Andy Vidak (R-Hanford), would provide a tax credit for working California families. SB 152 would create a refundable California Earned Income Tax Credit (CEITC), which would be equal to 15 percent of the federal EITC. The federal EITC is a refundable tax credit for low-income and middle-class working households that research shows is an effective tool for lifting families out of poverty, while rewarding work.

“Struggling families that are working hard to earn a paycheck should be able to keep more of the money they earn,” said Vidak, who represents the poorest Senate district in the state. “When folks in disadvantaged communities have more money to spend, those extra dollars help support local jobs and small businesses.”

Senate Bill 268, authored by Sen. Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove), would allow working families to apply the costs of day care for their children as a credit against their annual income taxes. According to a 2012 report by Child Care Aware of America, the average yearly cost of childcare in California for an infant is $12,068. Under current law, a family with an infant could be spending up to 20 percent of their income on childcare and not qualify for the childcare tax credit. SB 268 will update the credit to reflect the rising costs of childcare, and expand the number of people who can qualify for it. 

“It’s important for me to help out working families,” said Nguyen. “I know first-hand how hard it can be to balance the needs of your family with the demands of the workplace. This bill will help make day care, which can be a substantial household expense, more affordable. That means more people staying employed, earning steadier incomes and seeing increased opportunities for them and their families.”

SBs 152 and 268 are scheduled to be heard in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee on Wednesday.

Senate Bill 381, authored by Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar), puts the needs of students first. It allows school districts facing pressure from budget cuts to retain the most qualified teachers for their career technical education or career pathway programs, or to maintain the local districts’ local control and accountability plan. Simply put, local districts will be able to put their best teachers in the right classrooms, providing students the lessons and skills they need to succeed. Without this bill, school districts are currently forced to lay off teachers based upon their lack of time on the job, instead of their specific skill sets or qualifications.

“In our rapidly changing economy, we’re encouraging school districts to recruit teachers who have already developed specialized skills, especially in medical and technical fields,” said Huff. “Those are the industries that will have the high-paying jobs our kids need in order to succeed. Teachers who have mastered those skills and are ready to pass them on need to be protected; our children deserve nothing less.”

SB 381 is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday.