Invoice to extend youngster assist collections, avert lack of federal funds sails by means of committee

Legislation that would bring New Mexico’s child maintenance laws in line with federal regulations and prevent the loss of $ 147.5 million in funding was passed by the Senate Committee on Health and Public Affairs Wednesday.

Senate Draft 140, sponsored by Senator Gay Kernan, R-Hobbs, is also expected to increase child support payments as it would shorten the retrospective arrears period, also known as the look back period, from 12 to three years.

“This change is not required nationwide, but a common best practice for top performing states,” Kernan told the committee.

Kari Armijo, deputy cabinet secretary for the Human Services Department, said government child benefit fundraising projects will increase by $ 420.33 per year for each case.

“That’s an increase of 30.9 percent per year, or $ 284 per child,” she said. “Given the very low-income families who need our support, this extra money will mean a lot to families in New Mexico.”

A long arrears period leads to fewer collections “because debts are unaffordable for unsupervising parents to catch up,” added Armijo.

In addition, changes to the bill would improve voluntary child maintenance compliance and allow the department to “focus on providing employment opportunities and job security for non-caring parents to increase their accountability”.

Armijo said changes to state child support laws include taking into account the solvency of a non-caring parent, which is one of the reasons why the Temporary Aid for Low Income Family (TANF) program was $ 122.6 million in funding . USD is at risk.

“This provision of the federal rule is designed to ensure the affordability of child support services,” she said.

In addition to TANF funding, the Human Services division said $ 24.9 million in administrative and program funding for child support is at risk if the state breaks federal law.

The bill would also provide that a child’s health needs are a basis for amending a child support ordinance.

“This is also a federal requirement,” said Armijo. “It is designed to ensure that we always provide medical assistance to children, including medical assistance solely as a reason for opening child maintenance contracts.”

State Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, D-Albuquerque, described the measure as “a really excellent bill”.

“I especially like that they are not returning [12] Years more that it goes back three years because… it caused parents to disappear from children’s lives, and that’s not a good result, ”she said.

Armijo repeated the feeling. While modernizing the state child support law in New Mexico will mean more money by bringing unsupported parents to justice, she said the revisions have other benefits. Studies show that non-caring parents who pay child support “and are voluntarily compliant are more likely to have relationships with their children,” she said.

Rep Daymon Ely, D-Corrales, sponsors a dual measure, House Bill 190.

“We want parents to be included in their children’s lives without custody, and we want them to be able to support their children through employment,” Ely said in a statement. “This legislation removes more penal barriers that prevent unconscious parents from supporting their children.”

Comments are closed.