November 17, 1992
TO ALL STATE IV-D DIRECTORS
RE: Recently-Enacted Legislation
This is to inform you of three items of recently-enacted Federal legislation which will impact State IV-D programs. Enclosed are copies of the laws, or enrolled versions of the enacted legislation.
Child Support Recovery Act of 1992 (P.L. 102-521):
The Child Support Recovery Act of 1992, signed and effective on October 25, 1992, makes willful failure to pay a past due support obligation on behalf of a child in another State a Federal crime. Under the provisions of this law, any obligated parent who willfully fails to pay a past due support obligation with respect to a child who resides in a another State, an amount greater than $5,000, or past due for longer than one year, would be subject to a fine an/or imprisonment for up to six months (for first offense), and a fine and/or imprisonment for up to two years (for second and subsequent offenses). Courts shall order individuals convicted under this law to pay restitution in an amount equal to the past due support obligation owing at the time of sentencing.
The law also grants Federal courts the authority to make compliance with a court or administrative order for child and spousal support a discretionary condition of probation in any Federal criminal matter.
Additionally, the law authorizes the Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance in the United States Department of Justice to make grants to States and localities to develop, implement, and enforce criminal interstate child support legislation and coordinate criminal interstate child support enforcement efforts. Federal funds are authorized in the amount of $10 million for each of the fiscal years 1994, 1995, and 1996. No funds actually become available, however, unless they are subsequently appropriated through the annual appropriations process.
Finally, the law establishes a Commission on Child and Family Welfare to: (1) compile information and data on the issues that affect the best interests of children, including domestic issues such as abuse, family relations, services and agencies for children and families, family courts and juvenile courts; (2) compile a report that lists the strengths and weaknesses of the child welfare system as it relates to placement (including childcustody and visitation), summarizes State laws and regulations relating to visitation, and makes recommendations for changing the system or developing a Federal role in strengthening the system; (3) study the strengths and weaknesses of the juvenile and family courts as they relate to visitation, custody, and child support enforcement and suggest any recommendations for changing these systems; and (4) study domestic issues that relate to the treatment and placement of children (such as child and spousal abuse) and suggest recommendations for any needed changes, including models for mediation and other programs.
Ted Weiss Child Support Enforcement Act of 1992 (P.L. 102-537):
The Ted Weiss Child Support Enforcement Act of 1992, signed on October 27, 1992, and effective January 1, 1993, amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act to require consumer credit reporting agencies (CCRA's) to include in consumer reports information, no more than seven years old, on overdue child support, when provided by child support enforcement agencies, or received otherwise and verified by any local, State or Federal agency. The effective date of the Ted Weiss Child Support Enforcement Act of 1992 is January 1, 1993.
Job Training Reform Amendments of 1992 (P.L. 102-367):
The Job Training Reform Amendments of 1992, signed on September 7, 1992, provide, among other things, for payment of incentives to State Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) agencies for providing job training to noncustodial parents, and can continue to be available to JTPA agencies for up to two years after termination of the AFDC noncustodial parents from the Jobs for Employable Dependent Individuals (JEDI) training program.
The effective date of P.L. 102-367 is July 1, 1993. However, according to information from the United States Department of Labor, there is no funding for the JEDI program in the Federal Fiscal year 1993 appropriations for this incentive program.
A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the implementing regulations on P.L. 102-367 is expected to be published in the Federal Register in the near future. We will disseminate copies of the NPRM to you when it is published, as well as a list of the State JTPA contacts. We encourage you to review and comment on the NPRM during the public comment period.
We will be meeting soon with the United States Department of Justice to discuss the Federal criminal non-support statute. We will provide additional information to you regarding these laws and the implementation plans of the implementing agencies as they become available.
If you have any questions or need additional information, you may contact Andrew J. Hagan, OCSE Division of Policy and Planning, (202) 401-5375.
Allie Page Matthews,
Office of Child Support
cc: ACF Regional Administrators
Child Support Program Managers, Regions I - X