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Child Support Advocates Want Sunset Laws to See A New Day

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Wendy Futch depends on child support to provide the everyday necessities for her
DURHAM — North Carolina's tough new child support Sunset laws may lose their teeth at the end of June.

This year the state expects to collect $350,000,000 in child support, due to temporary laws that went into effect in October of 1997.

One of those laws requires all employeers to report new hires to the state. Some lawmakers think that this policy is an invasion of privacy, but others believe that the laws protect children.

"It's very hard," Wendy Futch said about running a single parent home. "You have to look at the emergencies like the medical expenses, field trips at school, and the needs of clothing and food.

10-year-old Ashley Futch's father left his job, and missed a child support payment. The state called upon a low called new hire reporting, and his new employeer reported his name to the state. The state was able to find his name in a computer data base and restart the payments.

"I love the new system," Futch said. "I didn't have to wait until the next day, two weeks, or a month; they let me know then."

Mike Adams with the state's child enforcement division said that the results have been dramatic, and that the payroll deduction for child support has increased by 19 percent.

Adams is encouraging law makers to keep this law, which is set to expire on June 30.

"There are extreme financial penalties to the state if we are not in compliance with the laws," Adams said. "We are optimistic that the legislature will support child support as they have so often."

The state passed the laws because of a federal mandate. If the legislature does not allow these laws to continue, the state could lose $360,000,000 in federal funding.


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