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U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Smith (R-Salem) listens to Missouri Governor Mike Parson during a February 14, 2023 meeting in Jefferson City (photo courtesy of the governor's Twitter page)

(AUDIO): Child care remains top priority for Governor Parson and powerful southern Missouri congressman

Missouri’s governor is praising U.S. House Ways and Means Committee chair Jason Smith (R-Salem), who represents southern Missouri on Capitol Hill.

Governor Mike Parson (R) and Congressman Smith discussed child care, workforce development and infrastructure during their Tuesday meeting in Jefferson City. The Salem Republican tells 939 the Eagle’s “Wake Up Mid-Missouri” that he’s blessed to have a great relationship with Governor Parson and legislative leaders. Congressman Smith says these relationships are crucial for Missourians.

“Because that creates the opportunities when it comes to highway funding projects. Whether it’s the projects we’ve done off of I-70 over the years or I-44. Maybe a four-lane Highway 63 (across Missouri) in the future would be really, really nice,” Smith says.

Chairman Smith also praises Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) and House Speaker Dean Plocher (R-Des Peres).

Meantime, Governor Parson’s proposed $78-million plan to establish three new child care tax credit programs has a powerful ally in Ways and Means chairman Smith. Daycare was a key topic in the meeting between Parson and Smith.  Congressman Smith tells “Wake Up Mid-Missouri” that he’s frustrated with Democrats on Capitol Hill, saying they dismantled the child tax credit in the $2-trillion  COVID bill.

“I’ve been the sponsor of the legislation to double the child tax credit for years now, so this is something I really care about. It helps deliver for working-class families, which is the majority of Missourians that we represent,” Smith says.

Congressman Smith praises Governor Parson’s state child care proposals. The governor says Missouri businesses consistently rank lack of child care options as a barrier to recruiting and retaining employees.

“These programs (proposed tax credits) will help improve child care facilities, support employers who support their workers with child care assistance and allow more of our dedicated child care workers to earn a pay increase,” Governor Parson told lawmakers during his January State of the State address.

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