Senator Leyva Introduces "Pay Kids First Act of 2015"

SB 585 Prioritizes Child Support Payments, Helps Children & Families

Thursday, February 26, 2015

SACRAMENTO – Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) today introduced important legislation that will dramatically increase payments for past due child support claims through an insurance payment intercept program.

Sponsored by Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, SB 585 would make mandatory a currently voluntary insurance payment intercept program that matches individuals who owe past due child support with insurance claims, payments, settlements and/or awards.  Under the proposal, the California Department of Insurance would consult and collaborate with the California Department of Child Support Services to bolster successful matching of child support debtors before they receive any insurance payouts.

“At its core, this common sense legislation will help many more children in California to lead successful lives by providing greater independence and self-sufficiency for them and their families,” Senator Leyva said.  “When $1.4 million is already being collected every month under the voluntary program, the potential to double, triple or even quadruple the child support monies collected is well within reach by making this program mandatory.  I thank Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones for his leadership on this issue and look forward to working with him and other stakeholders to ensure that SB 585 is a tremendous success for California’s children.”

Currently, approximately 25% of insurance companies voluntarily participate in this program that helps to improve the lives of children and strengthens both families and communities throughout California.  Under the present non-mandatory arrangement, about $17 million is collected annually.

“I’m pleased to sponsor Senator Leyva’s important legislation that will enhance the financial health of so many California families,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.  “This program works well in other states and would make sure that past-due child support is paid before many insurance settlements can be collected.”

Since 2011, both the California Department of Insurance and the California Department of Child Support Services have collaborated to increase vital financial support for custodial parents and their children through the current voluntary insurance payment intercept program.

As SB 585 was introduced today, the Senate Rules Committee will soon assign the bill to Senate policy committee(s) for consideration.