The Senate gave overwhelming approval to legislation Wednesday that would give foster parents an additional financial incentive for taking in foster children. House Bill 1919, by House Speaker T.W. Shannon and Sen. A.J. Griffin, would provide a tax credit for foster parents.
“Most foster parents spend way more on their foster children then they receive from DHS. The monthly supplemental simply isn’t enough to keep up with the cost of supporting a child,” said Griffin, R-Guthrie. “The state is working hard to find ways to attract more foster parents and the best way to do that is through financial incentives. Foster parents can’t list their foster children as dependents on their tax returns like they do for their own children. This bill would allow foster parents to apply for a tax credit, which will help them save money that they can then use to support their foster children.”
HB 1919 authorizes an income deduction for foster care expenses beginning January 1, 2014. The deduction is capped at $2,500 for single persons and $5,000 for married individuals filing a joint return.
“Oklahoma can never reach its potential until we live up to our moral imperative to see after the least among us, and these children are our most vulnerable,” said Speaker Shannon, R-Lawton. “These children face tough situations not having a true home environment for safety, security and sustenance. This deduction will help Oklahomans who have opened their homes to children who are in desperate need of love and hope.”
The enacting clause was stricken in Senate committee so the measure will now be assigned to a conference committee for further consideration.