Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Rep. Ferguson Named to Special Commission on Family Care and Child Care Services
The Special Commission on Family Care and Child Care Services will look at similar state and federal laws governing the use of campaign funds for family and child care services to see if it is feasible to offer the same benefit to Massachusetts candidates for state, county and municipal offices. The commission will also set parameters for what constitutes an allowable use of campaign funds for these purposes, and will work to determine if safeguards can be implemented to ensure the state’s Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) can adequately vet expenditures to prevent the unauthorized use of campaign funds.
At least three other states – Texas, Alabama and Wisconsin – allow campaign funds to be used for child care expenses. Congressional candidates can also use funds to pay for child care expenses directly related to their campaign.
“The cost of child care is often cited as a deterrent to running for elected office, particularly for mothers of young children,” said Representative Jones. “I believe Representative Ferguson will do an outstanding job helping the commission determine the proper framework for implementing potential changes to our campaign finance laws that would allow for the use of campaign funds to cover these expenses.”
"I am honored to have been appointed to this Commission by Minority Leader Jones and look forward to getting to work and producing a meaningful report and recommendations with my fellow Commissioners. I appreciate his confidence in my work and input regarding this important matter," stated Representative Ferguson.
Ferguson is one of six legislators serving on the 11-member commission, which is being chaired by Representative John Lawn (D-Watertown) and Senator Barry Finegold (D-Andover). The others include Senator Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton) and the House and Senate co-chairs of the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators, Representative Elizabeth Malia (D-Boston) and Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington).
Jill Ashton, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women; OCPF Director Michael Sullivan; and Pam Wilmot, Executive Director of Common Cause Massachusetts, are also serving on the commission. The final two members will be selected by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women and by Governor Charlie Baker, whose appointee must have “experience or expertise related to reducing gender, racial and economic disparities in civic engagement.”
The commission is scheduled to release a report of its findings and recommendations by June 1, 2020.
Ferguson currently serves as the Ranking House Republican on the Joint Committee on Education and the House and Joint Committees on Rules, and is also a member of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities. She represents the First Worcester District, which is comprised of Holden, Paxton, Princeton, Rutland, Precinct 1 in Sterling and Precinct 2 in Westminster.