By: John S. Sullivan | October 29, 2018 12:28:17MEMPHIS, Tenn.
(AP) The Latest on child support and child abuse in Mississippi (all times local):5:15 p.m.
Missouri lawmakers are pushing back on a request from the state to spend $4.3 million to pay for new child support enforcement, a move that is set to draw criticism from some advocates for the poor.
The Missouri House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday that would authorize the state Department of Human Services to begin collecting and sending child support from April 1 to June 30, 2019.
The bill is expected to pass the Senate later in the week.
The measure follows an audit by the Department of Child Support Enforcement that found the state does not pay its full share of child support payments to the low-income families who file for it.
A spokesman for Gov.
Phil Bryant said in a statement that the state is confident that the new state agency will be able to collect and process child support accurately and effectively.
The new law would apply to both divorced and non-divorced parents.
If the new agency does not receive a court order to begin collection, it will be required to start collecting and processing the child support immediately, the spokesman said.
The governor has repeatedly insisted that he will not increase the amount of child-support payments for couples who receive child support under current law, which is set at $400.
The governor’s office has not released how many people are eligible for benefits under the current system.