(Rochester) - Amid all the talk of cuts and mandated spending when Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks released her budget this week, she talked in detail about just one voluntary spending increase: subsidized daycare for the working poor.
The state mandates that Monroe County spend $4.2 million on the program, which supports daycare for single-parent families and low-income families where both parents work. The county was bombarded by messages from childcare advocates asking to bump that funding up by a million dollars.
County Legislature Democratic Party Leader Carrie Andrews says that would let parents earning up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level get the daycare subsidy. Andrews says Democrats support this because without it, many would be on public assistance and taking care of their kids at home instead of working.
But the Republican county executive says there's no way she could afford a million dollar increase. Brooks recommends a $600,000 increase...and says she'll invite the letter writers to join her in a community fundraising effort for the rest.
Brooks says details of that plan will be out soon. She says if children are the real issue, everyone should join her in this effort.