Heavrin receives KY Chamber MVP award 1

State Rep. Samara Heavrin, right, poses for a photo with her Kentucky Chamber MVP award alongside Kentucky Chamber Center for Policy and Research Executive Director Charles Aull.

State Rep. Samara Heavrin (R-18) has received the Kentucky Chamber MVP Award in recognition of her efforts to boost Kentucky businesses.

Heavrin received the award at last Thursday’s Grayson County Chamber of Commerce membership luncheon from Kentucky Chamber Center for Policy and Research Executive Director Charles Aull.

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 (Most Valuable Policymaker) 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, according to a press release.

Aull, when presenting Heavrin with her award, specifically noted Heavrin’s efforts to pass House Bill 499, which created the Employee Child Care Assistance Partnership.

Passed during the 2022 legislative session, HB 499, which Heavrin sponsored, seeks to assist working families in Kentucky with more accessible and affordable quality child care, as well as 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. “Rep. 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 between $6,000 to more than $10,000 per year for working families, according to a Kentucky Chamber press release.

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 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.”

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.

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