Representative Samara Heavrin was presented with the Kentucky Chamber MVP Award on Thursday by Kentucky Chamber Center for Policy and Research Executive Director Charles Aull.
Representative Heavrin was among a select group of lawmakers whom the Chamber recognized for going above and beyond in their support for creating a competitive business climate in the Commonwealth. Recipients of the Kentucky Chamber MVP Award show strong leadership for the business community by sponsoring or carrying Chamber priority legislation to final passage, showing leadership on passage of critical legislation to improve Kentucky, or by taking hard votes in defense of business.
During the 2022 legislative session, Representative Heavrin sponsored House Bill 499, which created the new Employee Child Care Assistance Partnership. This innovative legislation seeks to support more working families in Kentucky to access and afford quality child care and will help employers and small businesses attract and retain workers.
“Child care is a significant barrier to participating in the workforce for thousands of Kentucky families and is a key reason why workforce participation is so low in the Commonwealth,” said Aull. “Representative Heavrin’s focus on this issue and her tenacity in securing passage of House Bill 499 will have real positive impacts on both families and businesses. Legislation like this is exactly what Kentucky needs to overcome its severe workforce challenges.”
The Employee Child Care Assistance Partnership creates a process where employers and the state can partner together to help workers afford the cost of quality child care. These costs can run from anywhere between $6,000 to more than $10,000 per year for working families. The General Assembly appropriated $15 million to fund the partnership, which will officially launch in July 2023.
“Over the past two years, we have seen child care centers close and thousands of women leave the workforce due to challenges associated with finding and affording child care,” said Representative Heavrin. “Tackling workforce issues is a top priority for me. The Employee Child Care Assistance Partnership created by House Bill 499 offers a new approach that will help us stabilize the child care sector and support workforce participation.”
Representative Heavrin was also appointed to serve as the Co-Chair of the Early Childhood Education Task Force during the 2022 legislative interim, which is focused on identifying additional policy solutions to child care challenges in Kentucky.
Additional information on the Employee Child Care Assistance Partnership can be found here.
The 2022 General Assembly saw monumental progress on several critical priorities of the Kentucky business community, and the pro-growth policies passed saved Kentucky businesses an estimated $1.281 billion, roughly $19,000 for each employer in the Commonwealth.
While monitoring the progress of bills that create a better business climate and advance the Commonwealth, the Chamber tracks how each legislator votes on these bills. The Chamber’s MVP Award recipients displayed more than just a business-friendly voting record, but also went out of their way, and at times across party lines, to support or oppose an issue critical to the business climate in Kentucky.
Learn more about business issues during the 2022 Kentucky General Assembly in the Kentucky Chamber’s “Results for Business” publication.