Iowa major-party gubernatorial candidates participated in the first of three scheduled debates October 10 in Des Moines. Fred Hubbell and Kim Reynolds discussed — and at times argued — a range of policy issues, including health care, Medicaid and the state budget. And child care!
It was especially encouraging for child advocates to see the topic of child care surface during the one-hour debate. Child care is a vital part of our workforce infrastructure, central to working families, communities and the current and future economic success of our state.
Here's what both candidates said:
Kim Reynolds: "We need to address the [child care] cliff. If a mom tries to advance in her career, for $10 forward she loses $65 dollars for day care. We need to sort that out."
Fred Hubbell: "I agree the [child care] cliff is a problem in our state. It kicks in at 140 percent FPL in Iowa, and in other states it kicks in at 180 percent. We should raise it to 180 percent FPL, then make it gradual."
Crafting solutions to Iowa's child care woes will require the state legislature, providers, Iowa's civic leaders and business community — and whichever candidate is governor come January — to work collectively. We are hopeful the state is ready to meet that challenge.
Retired businessman Fred Hubbell and Gov. Kim Reynolds squared off in the first of three gubernatorial debates Oct. 10.