CSAC Bulletin Article

CSAC Supports Child Support Funding Proposal

May 2, 2019

In recent weeks, both the Senate and Assembly Budget Subcommittees on Health and Human Services have held hearings on the Governor’s proposal to increase funding for local child support agencies. As one of the investments aimed at reducing child poverty, the Governor is proposing to increase funding by $19.1 million General Fund in 2019-20, matched by $36.9 million federal funds, and implement a new budgeting methodology. CSAC shared our strong support for this proposal at the recent budget hearings.

The child support program provides essential services to families by helping them obtain child support payments, which can often lead to individuals becoming self-sufficient and help to address significant poverty issues. The child support program allocation formula was established in 2002 and there are significant variations in the amount of funding between counties. The 2018-19 budget provided $3 million in new funding for local child support agencies and required the State Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) to work with the Child Support Directors Association (CSDA) on identifying refinements to the budgeting methodology.

The Governor is proposing to increase funding in 2019-20 as the first year of a three-year implementation of a new budgeting methodology. The methodology was developed jointly by DCSS and CSDA and is supported by the findings of a Level of Effort study. The new funding will be allocated to 21 counties that have the highest levels of cases per full time equivalent and no county would see a reduction in child support funding. This increased funding will help counties be able to maximize collections, continue to improve performance, and best serve the needs of families and children.

Both budget subcommittees kept this item open and will vote on the proposal at a later date, likely following the Governor’s May Revision. CSAC will continue to partner with the CSDA and the numerous counties that are in support of this increased funding.

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