Assemblymember Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr. (File Photo)

Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer (D- South Los Angeles) and Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) introduced Assembly Bill (AB) 1091, AB 1092 and SB 337, three pieces of legislation that collectively work 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. 

“The role of the child support system should be to ensure that children receive the financial resources and parental support that 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 colleague, the chair of the Senate Committee on Public Safety, to reform this system.” 

“I’m proud to join my colleague, Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer, to reform California’s child support system,” Sen. Skinner said. “California has one of the highest child poverty rates in the nation – and yet we deprive low-income kids and their families of child support payments they desperately need and bury low-income parents under a mountain of debt that they can’t afford to pay.”  

AB 1091 extends an existing program that allows incarcerated parents, who 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 percent interest rates of child support payments owed to the state as repayment for public assistance.  Finally, SB 337 ensures that children and families receive 100 percent of the assessed child support payment, ending the practice of the state taking all but $50 of a child support payment made by a non-custodial parent.