During an evening session of the State House of Representatives, State Representative Laura Hoydick (R-120) renewed her drive to pass a measure she has reintroduced that would improve Connecticut’s collection rate for past-due child support payments.
The bill, HB 7195, An Act Implementing Recommendations of the Task Force to Study Methods for Improving the Collection of Past Due Child Support, is the product of work from the task force it is named for. Rep. Hoydick served on that task force panel back in 2013, working to craft the policy recommendations it contains. Legislation she crafted made it through the House and to the State Senate last year, but died when the Senate failed to act on it before adjournment.
“Child support is an essential piece of the financial picture for those who depend on it to make ends meet for their children,” said Rep. Hoydick. “Yet, Connecticut continues to have a very poor record when it comes to the collection of delinquent child support, particularly in comparison to other states. It boils down to Connecticut being behind in policy practices, as well as critical technology that could facilitate better collection rates. The Task Force identified a number of key areas where dramatic improvements can be made to make these efforts more successful, and help the families that depend on child support. I am pleased the Department of Social Services is initiating a feasibility study to determine what technology improvements should be made to enhance our 30-year-old antiquated operating system.”
Hoydick noted that Connecticut is in arrears in child support collection by $1.5 billion as of 2015, representing approximately 14,000 cases where no child support is being paid, forcing many of those families onto public assistance in order to survive. Connecticut successfully collects $3 million in child support annually.
This bill requires the State Marshal Commission to implement policies and procedures to increase state marshal participation in serving capias orders (i.e., orders to compel someone to appear in court), requires the comptroller to facilitate the electronic processing of federal and state court income withholding orders, including certain child support orders and specifies that a child support withholding order sent to the labor commissioner through the federal electronic system is considered proper legal process for the purpose of withholding outstanding child support from an obligor’s unemployment compensation.
The bill now heads to the State Senate for action there. This session of the Connecticut General Assembly adjourns at midnight, Wednesday June 7th, 2017.