Yee bill would toughen child support laws 

San Mateo County parents past due on their child support payments could be forced to find a job, potentially helping out 8,000 kids in the county.

Officials with state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco/San Mateo, confirmed that the senator would introduce Friday a bill backed by the county to allow the courts to order a parent to find a job at the initial child support hearing.

The county and its courts have volunteered themselves to be a testing site for the program with the idea that, if successful, it could be taken statewide, county officials said. Senate and county officials said that the language of the legislation was still being determined.

Currently, the county’s Department of Child Support Services must wait 120 days — four months — before opening a case against a parent who has become delinquent making their support payments, according to officials.

County Supervisor Adrienne Tissier is the leading county proponent behind pursuing the legislation, but was unavailable for comment as of press time.

Yee spokesman Adam Keigwin touted the legislation as "two-fold," saying it was a way to help custodial parents receive the money they deserve and help parents without jobs find gainful employment.

"We want to make sure that kids get the financial support that they need," Keigwin said.

Iliana Rodriguez, the acting director of the San Mateo County Department of Child Support Services, said 80 percent of the county’s cases have some balance that’s past due. That doesn’t mean, however, that parents have stopped making their payments, she added.

Yee, Tissier and Rodriguez will hold a press conference Friday at 11 a.m. in the Board of Supervisors Chamber at the Hall of Justice, 400 County Center in Redwood City.

dsmith@examiner.com

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