Governor Walker’s Budget Cuts Dane County Child Support Efforts
March 24, 2011
Joshua Wescott, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606
Walker Budget a Boost for “Deadbeat Dads;” Projection: $8-Million Less in Child Support to be Collected in County
Thousands of Dane County moms and kids will have a tougher time receiving child support payments because of Governor Walker’s budget, Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk announced today.
Falk said the Governor’s budget cuts $840,000 from Dane County’s funding to ensure parents are held accountable for supporting their children. That Falk said, will compromise the county’s ability to go after parents who shirk their responsibilities of financially supporting their own kids with life’s basics like food and clothing.
“We’re estimating Governor Walker’s budget will result in nearly $8-million less in child support collected in Dane County each year,” Falk said. “That adds up to around 6,000 Dane County families who will receive nothing in child support payments for their kids.”
Falk noted right now that 50% of Wisconsin children ages five and under who live in a single parent household, live in poverty.
“Taking money out of the back-pockets of parents trying to support their kids at a time when so many families are struggling, is just wrong,” Falk said.
Until now, Dane County has had an extraordinarily high rate of success securing child support dollars for kids. The county’s Child Support Division has secured over $7.00 for every one dollar invested in their work. That far exceeds both the state and national averages.
Falk said if the Governor’s child support cut isn’t reversed by the Republican legislature, more kids will also have a tougher time ever knowing who their parents are, as the county’s Child Support Division also does investigatory work to help track down the unknown fathers of children.
The Governor’s budget would result in the layoff of ten (10) Dane County Child Support Services staff. Dane County Child Support currently manages child support cases for 22,000 families (about 55,000 individuals) in the county each year.