(Sacramento - March 27, 2019) – This week the California State Assembly Committee on Judiciary voted, with bi-partisan support, to approve Assemblymember Reginald Jones-Sawyer’s (D- South Los Angeles) Assembly Bills (AB) 1091, and AB 1092 that collectively works to address the unfair burden that the current child support system places on low-income families and incarcerated parents. These bills work together to provide children with support, while ensuring a fair and equitable system that does not perpetuate poverty and recidivism.
“Today my colleagues who sit on the Assembly Judiciary Committee took a another step forward to ensuring our youth who depend on child support systems receive the financial resources and parental backing they need to succeed,” said Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer. “When that system is instead resulting in high rates of recidivism, promoting inescapable cycles of debt and putting additional pressures on families attempting to reunite, then something has to change. I am proud to work with my colleagues, to reform this system.”
AB 1091 extends an existing program that allows incarcerated parents, who often make less than $1 an hour while working in correctional facilities, to apply for a suspension of their child support payments and avoid the punitive accrual of interest on debt they have no capacity to pay. AB 1092 removes the mandatory imposition of 10% interest rates of child support payments owed to the state as repayment for public assistance.
"Most people don't realize that most of the child support owed is owed to the state and, if paid, never even goes to the child or the custodial parent,” said Jessica Bartholow of Western Center on Law and Poverty. “We need to make sure that our child support programs are about supporting children and these bills will help achieve that goal."
AB 1091 and 1092 will head to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.
Assemblymember Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr. represents South Los Angeles, Florence-Firestone, Walnut Park, and a portion of Huntington Park. For more information about Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer, Sr., please visit https://a59.asmdc.org/