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Child-care proposal held in committee

March 24, 1998
By: Samantha Young
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - Former state Sen. Joe Moseley of Columbia showed up to testify in support of Gov. Mel Carnahan's day-care bill on Tuesday but did not get the chance to say his piece.

As the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing proceeded and witnesses testified, members started to ask detailed questions, which lead to confusion about what the bill would really achieve.

Sen. Ken Jacob, D-Columbia, said the bill as it stands does not address who actually qualifies for day-care grants. Carnahan's original proposal called for local schools to apply for grants to establish pre-kindergartens for 3- and 4-year olds. The House added an amendment that would allow parents and religious organizations to apply for grants.

Not all parents, however, would qualify for aid. A sliding scale would be applied targeting lower income families.

Several day-care owners showed up at the hearing to oppose the bill and said they already provide adequate day care and would be run out off business.

"One hundred and ten day cares in Missouri are going to be economically harmed if this bill is passed," said Robert Rodriguez of the Child Care Consortium."We are going to lose part of our children."

The bill awaits a vote in committee before it can go to the Senate floor.