The following press release was issued by the California Assembly Republican Caucus:
Majority Party Sides With Convicts Over Children Who Need Support
SACRAMENTO – Assembly Republicans today criticized Democrats for approving a proposal to spend state funds to help prison inmates reduce their child-support payments.
“The state should never aid and abet a convicted criminal in avoiding child support,” Assemblyman Todd Spitzer, R-Orange, said. “We should not allow prisoners to escape their financial responsibility to their own children.”
On a vote of 41-34, the Assembly Democrats approved AB 862, sending the bill to the governor’s desk. The measure by Assemblywoman Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, would require the state to provide inmates with a pamphlet titled, “Child Support Information for the Parent in Jail or Prison,” at a cost of approximately $80,000 a year to taxpayers.
State law allows inmates to petition for a modification in child-support payments when they are incarcerated. There is no pressing need, however, for the state to spend time and resources to encourage these filings, especially during a fiscal crisis.
“Given a choice between supporting children or convicts, the Democrats sided with the convicts,” Spitzer said. “It’s unfortunate that the majority party is so far out of touch with the needs of California’s families.”
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