This summary provides an overview of an official press release, focusing on key advocacy initiatives relevant to First 5 Fox Valley. For a comprehensive review of the official document released on March 4, 2024 please click on the link provided here.

Governor Tony Evers of Wisconsin has signed Assembly Bill 1023 into law, now known as 2023 Wisconsin Act 101, aimed at significantly reducing the financial burden of child and adult dependent care on working families. The new law doubles the state’s child and dependent care tax credit from 50% to 100% of the federal credit, directly benefiting over 110,000 taxpayers with an average relief of $656 each, which totals nearly $73 million in annual tax savings.

The Act not only increases the tax credit percentage but also raises the maximum amount of qualifying expenses that can be claimed — from $3,000 to $10,000 for one qualifying dependent and from $6,000 to $20,000 for two or more. Consequently, the maximum credit a taxpayer can claim has significantly increased, which in practical terms could enhance a qualifying family’s credit up to $3,000 or more, depending on their income and expenses.

Governor Evers highlighted the critical nature of this legislation in addressing the high cost of child care, emphasizing its role in ensuring children’s early support and care, as well as aiding the state’s workforce by keeping parents employed. Despite this progress, the Governor also renewed his call for the Wisconsin Legislature to address the state’s child care crisis with long-term solutions, including substantial investments to reduce out-of-pocket costs for families and financial support to keep child care providers operational.

In his response to the legislative inaction on further funding, particularly the refusal to fund the Child Care Counts Program, Governor Evers directed $170 million in emergency funding to continue supporting child care providers through June 2025. He warned of a looming fiscal crisis that could result in the closure of over 2,100 child care programs, loss of nearly 4,880 jobs, and leave more than 87,000 children without care, with potentially devastating economic impacts.

2023 Wisconsin Act 101 aligns with Governor Evers’ broader efforts to provide tax relief, particularly to the middle class, contributing to $1.5 billion in annual tax savings across the state, and attempts to mitigate the challenges facing Wisconsin’s child care industry and workforce stability.