On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Revenue, Financial Institutions, and Rural Issues held a public hearing on Senate Bill 138 authored by State Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and State Representative Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan). Under federal law, parents receive a $1,000 tax credit for eligible children. If a child takes his or her first breath and then passes away, parents are still eligible for this credit. However, in Wisconsin, if a child is stillborn, parents are not eligible for this credit.
"It's time Wisconsin join other states in ensuring our tax code recognizes the parents of a stillborn child," Darling said, "Many of these parents undergo the same medical costs as parents of a healthy new born. This tax credit is crucial to aiding these parents during one of the hardest times of their lives."
Under the bill, parents of a stillbirth are eligible for a $2,000 refundable tax credit. The funds are higher than that of the federal credit because parents of a stillborn child may not be eligible for maternity leave. As such, the funds are meant to address lost wages during the miscarriage and recovery.
"I want to thank the parents of stillborn children who reached out in support of this bill and came to testify on its behalf. It took incredible courage to share such personal stories, and your testimony shined light on the great need for this piece of legislation," Darling said, "I would also like to thank Representative Ballweg for her work on this bill."
The bill is now available for a vote in the Senate Committee on Revenue, Financial Institutions, and Rural Issues.