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SB-337 Child support.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 06/27/2019 09:00 PM
SB337:v94#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  June 27, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  May 17, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  April 25, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  April 11, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  March 25, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 337


Introduced by Senator Skinner
(Coauthor: Senator Stone)

February 19, 2019


An act to amend Sections 17500 and 17504 of the Family Code, and to amend Section 11477 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to child support.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 337, as amended, Skinner. Child support.
Existing law requires each county to provide cash assistance and other social services to needy families through the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program using federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant program, state, and county funds.
Under existing law, a recipient of CalWORKs aid is required to assign to the county any rights to support from any other person that the recipient may have, on their behalf, or on behalf of any other family member for whom the recipient is receiving aid, not exceeding the total amount of CalWORKs cash assistance provided to the family. Existing law, for applications received before October 1, 2009, includes the assignment to the county of child support that accrued before the family received aid under CalWorks. Existing law also requires the first $50 of any amount of child support collected in a month in payment of the required support obligation for that month to be paid to a recipient of CalWORKs aid, and prohibits this amount from being considered income or resources of the recipient family or being deducted from the amount of aid to which the family would otherwise be eligible.
This bill would increase that amount to $100 for a family with one child and $200 for a family with 2 or more children. The bill would additionally discontinue any assigned rights to support, with respect to applications received before October 1, 2009, that accrued prior to the applicant receiving aid and would make other conforming changes.
Existing law provides that the Department of Child Support Services and local child support agencies have the responsibility for promptly and effectively collecting and enforcing child support obligations. Existing law requires a local child support agency to submit child support delinquencies to the department for purposes of supplementing the collection efforts of the local child support agencies and defines a child support delinquency for the purposes of these provisions.
This bill would, to the extent permitted under federal law, exclude from the definition of “child support delinquency” an arrearage or otherwise past due amount owed to the state that the local child support agency or department determines was established in error or has determined to be uncollectible, as specified. The bill would provide that a determination that a child support delinquency owed to the state is uncollectible is permanent and the delinquency amount would be no longer enforceable as of the date of that determination. The bill would authorize the department to implement and administer these provisions through a child support services letter or similar instruction until regulations are adopted by July 1, 2020. 2022.
Existing law continuously appropriates moneys from the General Fund to defray a portion of county costs under the CalWORKs program.
This bill would provide that the continuous appropriation would not be made for the purposes of implementing the bill.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 It is the intent of the Legislature to increase the amount of child support payments received and to strengthen family unity between children and their noncustodial parent, thereby improving the health and well-being of low-income children.

SEC. 2.

 Section 17500 of the Family Code is amended to read:

17500.
 (a) In carrying out its obligations under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 651 et seq.), the department and the local child support agency shall have the responsibility for promptly and effectively collecting and enforcing child support obligations.
(b) The department and the local child support agency are the public agencies responsible for administering wage withholding for the purposes of Title IV-D of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 651 et seq.).
(c) (1) Except as provided in Section 17450, the local child support agency shall submit child support delinquencies to the department for purposes of supplementing the collection efforts of the local child support agencies. Submissions shall be in the form and manner and at the time prescribed by the department. Collection shall be made by the department in accordance with Section 17450.
(2) (A) For purposes of this subdivision, “child support delinquency” means an arrearage or otherwise past due amount that accrues when an obligor fails to make any court-ordered support payment when due, which is more than 60 days past due, and the aggregate amount of which exceeds one hundred dollars ($100). To the extent permitted under federal law, a “child support delinquency” does not include an arrearage or otherwise past due amount owed to the state that the local child support agency or department determines was established in error or has determined to be uncollectible.
(B) In determining the meaning of “uncollectible” for purposes of arrearages and otherwise past due amounts owed to the state, the department or the local child support agency shall, consistent with Section 303.11 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations, consider all of the following factors:
(i) Income and assets available to pay the arrearage or otherwise past due amount.
(ii) Source of income.
(iii) Age of the arrearage or otherwise past due amount.
(iv) The number of support orders.
(v) Employment history.
(vi) Payment history.
(vii) Incarceration history.
(viii) Whether the order was based on imputed income.
(ix) Other readily ascertainable debts.
(C) The department and a local child support agency shall deem an arrearage or otherwise past due amount owed to the state as “uncollectible” if either of the following factors exist:
(i) The noncustodial parent is living with the minor child, either as the primary caregiver or in an intact two-parent household, and the department or the local child support agency has determined that services are not appropriate or are no longer appropriate.
(ii) The noncustodial parent’s sole income is from any of the following:
(I) Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Program for the Aged, Blind, and Disabled (SSI/SSP) benefits.
(II) A combination of SSI/SSP benefits and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
(III) Cash Assistance Program for Aged, Blind, and Disabled Legal Immigrants (CAPI) benefits.
(D) A determination made pursuant to this subdivision that a child support delinquency owed to the state is uncollectible shall be permanent and the delinquency amount is no longer enforceable as of the date of the determination. The department or local child support agency shall notify the court of any child support delinquency deemed uncollectible under this subdivision, as appropriate.

(C)

(E) Notwithstanding the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), the department may implement and administer this subdivision through a child support services letter or similar instruction until regulations are adopted. Thereafter, the department shall adopt regulations to implement this section by July 1, 2020. 2022.
(d) If a child support delinquency exists at the time a case is opened by the local child support agency, the responsibility for the collection of the child support delinquency shall be submitted to the department no later than 30 days after receipt of the case by the local child support agency.

SEC. 3.

 Section 17504 of the Family Code is amended to read:

17504.
 The first one hundred dollars ($100) of any amount of child support collected in a month for a family with one child, or the first two hundred dollars ($200) for a family with two or more children, in payment of the required support obligation for that month shall be paid to a recipient of aid under Article 2 (commencing with Section 11250) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, except recipients of foster care payments under Article 5 (commencing with Section 11400) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and shall not be considered income or resources of the recipient family, and shall not be deducted from the amount of aid to which the family would otherwise be eligible. The local child support agency in each county shall ensure that payments are made to recipients as required by this section.

SEC. 4.

 Section 11477 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

11477.
 As a condition of eligibility for aid paid under this chapter, each applicant or recipient shall do all of the following:
(a) (1) Do either of the following:
(A) For applications received before October 1, 2009, assign to the county any rights to support from any other person the applicant or recipient may have on their own behalf or on behalf of any other family member for whom the applicant or recipient is applying for or receiving aid. The assignment shall apply only to support that accrues during the period of time that the applicant is receiving assistance under this chapter, and shall not exceed the total amount of cash assistance provided to the family under this chapter. Any assigned rights to support that accrued prior to receiving aid shall be discontinued pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 657 of Title 42 of the United States Code. Receipt of public assistance under this chapter operates as an assignment by operation of law. An assignment of support rights to the county shall also constitute an assignment to the state. If support rights are assigned pursuant to this subdivision, the assignee may become an assignee of record by the local child support agency or other public official filing with the court clerk an affidavit showing that an assignment has been made or that there has been an assignment by operation of law. This procedure does not limit any other means by which the assignee may become an assignee of record.
(B) For applications received on or after October 1, 2009, assign to the county any rights to support from any other person the applicant or recipient may have on their own behalf, or on behalf of any other family member for whom the applicant or recipient is applying for or receiving aid. The assignment shall apply only to support that accrues during the period of time that the applicant is receiving assistance under this chapter, and shall not exceed the total amount of cash assistance provided to the family under this chapter. Receipt of public assistance under this chapter shall operate as an assignment by operation of law. An assignment of support rights to the county shall also constitute an assignment to the state. If support rights are assigned pursuant to this subdivision, the assignee may become an assignee of record by the local child support agency or other public official filing with the court clerk an affidavit showing that an assignment has been made or that there has been an assignment by operation of law. This procedure does not limit any other means by which the assignee may become an assignee of record.
(2) Support that has been assigned pursuant to paragraph (1) and that accrues while the family is receiving aid under this chapter shall be permanently assigned until the entire amount of aid paid has been reimbursed.
(b) (1) Cooperate with the county welfare department and local child support agency in establishing the paternity of a child of the applicant or recipient born out of wedlock with respect to whom aid is claimed, and in establishing, modifying, or enforcing a support order with respect to a child of the individual for whom aid is requested or obtained, unless the applicant or recipient qualifies for a good cause exception pursuant to Section 11477.04. The granting of aid shall not be delayed or denied if the applicant is otherwise eligible, completes the necessary forms, and agrees to cooperate with the local child support agency in securing support and determining paternity, if applicable. The local child support agency shall have staff available, in person or by telephone, at all county welfare offices and shall conduct an interview with each applicant to obtain information necessary to establish paternity and establish, modify, or enforce a support order at the time of the initial interview with the welfare office. The local child support agency shall make the determination of cooperation. If the applicant or recipient attests under penalty of perjury that they cannot provide the information required by this subdivision, the local child support agency shall make a finding regarding whether the individual could reasonably be expected to provide the information before the local child support agency determines whether the individual is cooperating. In making the finding, the local child support agency shall consider all of the following:
(A) The age of the child for whom support is sought.
(B) The circumstances surrounding the conception of the child.
(C) The age or mental capacity of the parent or caretaker of the child for whom aid is being sought.
(D) The time that has elapsed since the parent or caretaker last had contact with the alleged father or obligor.
(2) Cooperation includes all of the following:
(A) Providing the name of the alleged parent or obligor and other information about that person if known to the applicant or recipient, such as address, social security number, telephone number, place of employment or school, and the names and addresses of relatives or associates.
(B) Appearing at interviews, hearings, and legal proceedings, provided the applicant or recipient is provided with reasonable advance notice of the interview, hearing, or legal proceeding and does not have good cause not to appear.
(C) If paternity is at issue, submitting to genetic tests, including genetic testing of the child, if necessary.
(D) Providing any additional information known to, or reasonably obtainable by, the applicant or recipient necessary to establish paternity or to establish, modify, or enforce a child support order.
(3) A recipient or applicant shall not be required to sign a voluntary declaration of paternity, as set forth in Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 7570) of Part 2 of Division 12 of the Family Code, as a condition of cooperation.
(c) (1) This section does not apply if all of the adults are excluded from the assistance unit pursuant to Section 11251.3, 11454, or 11486.5, or if all eligible adults have been subject to Section 11327.5 for at least 12 consecutive months.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that the regular receipt of child support in the preceding reporting period be considered in determining reasonably anticipated income for the following reporting period.
(3) In accordance with Sections 11265.2 and 11265.46, if the income of an assistance unit described in paragraph (1) includes reasonably anticipated income derived from child support, the amount established in Section 17504 of the Family Code of any amount of child support received each month shall not be considered income or resources and shall not be deducted from the amount of aid to which the assistance unit otherwise would be eligible.

SEC. 5.

 No appropriation pursuant to Section 15200 of the Welfare and Institutions Code shall be made for purposes of implementing this act.