HARTFORD, Conn. -- State Rep. Laura Hoydick (R-120) testified this week before the legislature’s Human Services Committee in support of a measure that would improve Connecticut’s collection rate for past-due child support payments.
The bill, HB 5436, 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 that Hoydick served on which provided policy recommendations to improve technology and support staffing changes.
“Child support is an essential piece of the financial picture for those who depend on it to make ends meet for their children,” Hoydick said. “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.”
Connecticut garners approximately $3 million in child support annually. The state ranks only 38th nationally in collection efforts.
In her testimony before the committee, Hoydick said that Connecticut is in arrears in child support collection by $1.5 billion as of last year, representing approximately 14,000 cases where no child support is being paid.
Hoydick said the problems are largely due to a failure to keep up with technology. Investing in technological improvements, she said, “is critical to our improving child support collection."
Hoydick said that while an initial outlay of funding may seem daunting given the current fiscal crisis facing the state, the investment would save money in terms of public assistance dollars in the long run.
She also pointed out that 66 percent of the cost to make the technology improvements necessary would be reimbursed by the federal government.
Among the improvements Hoydick is advocating in her bill, which would replace the 1980s “legacy system” currently being used, are a web-based customer service portal and graphic user interface.
The bill remains before the Human Services Committee, awaiting action.