Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Senator Bert Stedman Takes a Cheap Shot at the Palin Administration

Today, the Senate finance committee chaired by Senator Stedman, heard testimony from the Palin administration on Senate Bill 96

An Act relating to nonpayment of child support; relating to certain judicial and administrative orders for medical support of a child; relating to periodic review and adjustment of child support orders; relating to relief from administrative child support orders; relating to child support arrearages; relating to medical support of a child and the Alaska Native family assistance program; amending Rule 90.3, Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure; and providing for an effective date.

Just a brief background on the agency that this piece of legislation falls under. The law falls under the Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED) that receives 65% of its funding from the federal government.

This agency would not survive if it were not for the federal dollars that support this agency and because of this support, there are strings attached.

During the testimony, the Palin staffer brought up the fact that there is 17 million dollars hanging out there and that the Act and the passage of it was needed to receive the federal dollars.

Now this money is not part of the federal stimulus package and the federal dollars are being used to keep the agency a float. This is not a new state agency or program created by the stimulus package.

It is an existing agency/program that has been funded for years and quite frankly, under Stedman's time in office.

In response to the Palin staffer talking about the strings attached, Stedman through a very crass suggestion, tried to make it seem that Palin was being hypocritical on the matter of the stimulus monies and the monies for CSED.

It was a cheap shot by Stedman.

One, CSED is already an existing agency that was built on federal mandates and the change in the law does not create a new agency or add new employees that cost the state money down the road.

It is a provisional change in the statutes that for the most part is already in effect.

Moreover, in discussion on the bill, the fact was brought up that a non-custodial parent who is ordered to pay money for medical care of their child, the money is not guaranteed by the law that the money will go to the care.

The money goes directly to the custodial parent and there is no provision in the law to make sure the custodial parent uses the money for medical services.

Instead of taking cheap shots, maybe Stedman should conduct hearings on how many custodial parents use the money to buy drugs and alcohol and leave the child in a state of medical neglect.

There was no concern on his part about this fact. None.


Anonymous said...

Yup, keeping it classy.

Videmus Omnia said...

Tom, what did Stedman say?

Tom said...


It was a snide comment about why is it okay to request the money for CSED but not the stimulus money even when strings are attached to the CSED money.

That was the gist of his comment. I checked archives on audio and I haven't seen it yet.

Tom said...

C.S. yes indeed...