Update (12/9/10): SB 292 has failed to pass. Thanks to all of you who participated in our Campaign. In working against SB 292, Fathers and Families of Ohio:
- Opened a substantive, productive dialogue with both of SB 292’s legislative sponsors
- Made numerous TV and radio appearances, including a de facto radio debate with one of the bill’s sponsors
- Published two op-ed columns in major Ohio newspapers
- Was quoted on SB 292 in 10 Ohio Newspapers
However, the fight isn”t over. We expect the bill to be re-introduced into the legislature in January, and we will be battling it again. ————————————————————————– Short Version: Ohio SB 292 will raise child support levels in the face of the worst economy since the Great Depression. Fathers and Families of Ohio is working to defeat SB 292 this legislative session but we need your help–please fill out our formand we will send your letter to all appropriate legislators. Full Version: Senator Shirley Smith (D-Cleveland) and Senator Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) have introduced Ohio SB 292 during the current Ohio legislative session. While the bill does have some significant positives, it has some very ugly negatives. These include:
1) SB 292 will raise child support levels in the face of the worst economy since the Great Depression. The current tables were established in 1992 and child support bureaucrats such as Douglas Lumpkin, Director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, think the rates should be raised with the inflation rate. But these rates are already linked to income levels, so there is a built-in inflation adjustment–such changes will mean obligors are paying even more. 2) SB 292 changes Ohio law so that future child support guidelines will not be determined by elected, accountable legislators, but instead by bureaucrats in the same agency whose job is to maximize child support collections in Ohio. 3) SB 292 treats non-residential parents as decidedly second-class parents. The guidelines consider money the primary residential parents spend on housing, clothes, bicycles, toys, computers, etc. Yet non-residential parents have similar expenses and they are scarcely considered at all by the guidelines. 4) SB 292 treats all child support obligors who have their children less than 40% of the time the same, whether they spend 145 days a year with their kids or only an hour.
Fathers and Families of Ohio is working to defeat SB 292 in its present form this legislative session but we need your help–to get involved, click here and fill out our volunteer form, or call us at (800) 704-3237. We believe that all parents must help support their children, and we seek a fair and reasonable child support system. While SB 292 is unacceptable in its current form, we acknowledge that it does contain some positives that we support for future legislation. These include:
1) SB 292 would, for the first time, establish a “self-support’ reserve that is based solely on an obligor”s income, to help prevent a child support order from impoverishing the obligor. 2) SB 292 would, for the first time, recognize at least a few of the nonresident parents” expenses by establishing a modest credit for exercising standard parenting time. 3) SB 292 would allow additional income earned from secondary employment or overtime that was undertaken to support a second family to be disregarded in setting an obligor”s child support payments. 4) SB 292 would allow a court to reduce a parent”s child support obligation based on college expenses for a child even if the child is emancipated.
Fathers and Families is working to stop SB 292 in its present form. Fathers and Families is the nation”s leader in passing child support and alimony reform legislation to ensure that obligors are being treated fairly. Examples of some of our legislative successes in these ares include: AZ HB 2348, CA SB 1482, CA SB 580, CA SB 1355, CA SB 285, IN HB 1165, and MA HB 930. Moreover, in Massachusetts we were responsible for reducing excessive child support by over $1 billion in Massachusetts from 2001 through 2008. We will work constructively with Ohio legislators to create a child support bill that will be fair, protect children, and promote the active involvement of both parents in their children”s lives.