Support Maine's Working Families through Universal Child Care

Last updated: Jun 12, 2017

Details about this bill
Category: Wage and Labor
Status: Defeated
Sponsor: Representative Michael Sylvester, House 39
Session: 128
Bill #: LD 1618




This bill establishes the Universal Child Care Program of universal child care for all individuals and families who are eligible. Eligibility for universal child care is based on the age of the child. Income is not a factor for eligibility. The bill establishes the Universal Child Care Trust Fund, which is managed by a board composed of members who represent child care providers and consumers of child care services. The board employs professional staff and receives advice from an advisory committee composed of the Commissioner of Health and Human Services, the Commissioner of Education and the Commissioner of Labor as well as the Treasurer of State, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Base funding for universal child care is from child care funds from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and the federal Child Care and Development Fund block grant.

To complete the funding for the Universal Child Care Program, the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Bureau of Revenue Services is directed to develop and submit to the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services draft legislation to establish universal child care taxes. The taxes are to be structured to include 3 elements: a tax on wages that is substantially equivalent to the federal Social Security Act's Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance program tax, but that applies only to earnings above the annual contribution and benefit base of the federal tax; a self-employment tax applicable to taxpayers who are subject to the federal Self-Employment Contributions Act tax that is equivalent to that tax and applies to net earnings above the annual limit subject to taxation under that federal tax; and a tax equal to the wage and self-employment taxes that is imposed on unearned annual income and that applies in a manner similar to the federal Net Investment Income Tax. The bill directs the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services to report out a bill to the Second Regular Session of the 128th Legislature to establish universal child care taxes to fully fund the Universal Child Care Program.