How California makes tens of millions off little one help

Good morning, California. It’s Monday, May 3rd.

Repayment of public aid

Stacy Estes in front of the house he shares with his fiancée in Sacramento on April 7, 2021. Photo by Anne Wernikoff, CalMatters

$ 18.4 billion.

That’s how much California parents owe overdue child child support payments, but a staggering $ 6.8 billion of that debt is due to the government, not the families, the result of the Golden State keeping an unusually large chunk of the payments to itself. No other state in America takes a higher percentage of payments – and only one state charges a higher interest rate if parents don’t pay on time, reports Kate Cimini of Salinas, California in a new series entitled “Intercepted” for CalMatters’ California Divide Project.

The Result: The average California custody parent – usually the father and disproportionately black or Latin American – makes less than $ 15,000 a year but owes $ 39,000 to both their children and the government.

California takes money out of child support payments when the custody parent – usually the mother – uses public aid programs like grocery stamps. This is due to the decades-old federal law requiring people who use public programs to repay the government. Failure to do so will face hefty penalties: California can suspend driver’s license just 30 days after parent default. Although state officials say that suspension of licenses is sometimes the only effective tool at their disposal, it can also make it harder for parents to keep a job – which drives them deeper into debt.

Governor Gavin Newsom last year vetoed a bill that would have ended California’s practice of charging 10% interest on child public maintenance debts, saying it “would result in an estimated loss of millions of dollars in revenue.” However, a pilot program in San Francisco found that writing off this debt – most of which is initially considered bad debt – resulted in fathers paying larger amounts more often and having better relationships with their children and exes.


The conclusion of the coronavirus: As of Sunday, California had 3,642,480 confirmed cases (+ 0.1% from the previous day) and 60,748 deaths (+ 0.2% from the previous day)According to a CalMatters tracker.

California managed 30,412,414 Vaccine doses, and 40.2% of Californians are fully vaccinated.

Plus: CalMatters regularly updates this pandemic timeline and keeps track of the state’s daily actions. We’re also tracking the state’s coronavirus hospital stays by counties and lawsuits against COVID-19 restrictions.

This week, we’re speaking on the podcast with Senator Bob Hertzberg about the cash bail system and discussing the challenges of vaccinating migrant farm workers. Listen.

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1. Democrats team up behind Newsom

Magaly Colelli, left, speaks to Newsom and actor Danny Trejo (center) in San Fernando on April 29, 2021. Photo by Robert Gauthier, Los Angeles Times via AP / Pool

The driving force behind the California Democratic Party’s online convention over the weekend: Defend Newsom ahead of the upcoming recall election. The all-star cast included national party leaders like Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – but many of the utterances, including Newsom’s, have already been taped, resulting in an event that felt a bit like you were going to watch maple syrup being tapped, ”In the words of Capitol reporter Scott Lay. Still, the message was clear: Democrats want to present a unified front to discourage party members from participating in the recall as an alternative to Newsom, reports Ben Christopher of CalMatters.

Former GOP Mayor of San Diego Kevin Faulconer is expanding the reach of Latino voters with polls showing lukewarm Latino support for Newsom. Caitlyn Jenner is set to appear on Fox News this week for her first major interview after making headlines over the weekend for opposing transgender girls competing in girls’ sports. Meanwhile, Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Hewitt announced on Friday that he would face Newsom as a libertarian.

2. State works to reduce prison population

Image via iStock

California on Saturday tacitly passed new rules that allow 76,000 inmates to shorten their sentences. This is the state’s latest attempt to reduce its incarcerated population as officials prepare to close two prisons. The new rules, which increase the rate at which 63,000 violent offenders and 13,000 nonviolent repeat offenders can earn credit for good behavior, were enacted as emergency regulations that allow the state to avoid public comment until next year. The state has also introduced a new loan that allows inmates who work in fire camps or who have been assigned minimum detention status to earn 30 days of credit for every 30 days.

Although California’s prison population fell by nearly 20% in the first few months of the pandemic, many facilities remain overcrowded. The pandemic also slowed renditions from county prisons, where thousands of people are waiting despite not having been convicted or convicted of any crime.

3. The vaccine supply increases with decreasing demand

Medical assistant Letrice Smith, right, hands a filled syringe to a volunteer at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Menlo Park on April 10, 2021. Photo by Anne Wernikoff, CalMatters

California vaccine supplies will reach new heights this week as the federal government resumes shipping of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine, which has been suspended due to concerns about rare blood clots. However, demand appears to be falling for health experts who say the downturn could prevent the Golden State from achieving herd immunity. In Los Angeles County, first-dose appointments have decreased by 50% and 18% of residents missed their second-dose appointments for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. In Solano County, 15% of people skipped their appointments for the second dose, and 17,000 people are overdue for their second shot in San Mateo County. Falling demand is forcing local governments to focus on community and mobile clinics in underserved areas rather than mass vaccination sites: for example, Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles will close in late May. Still, some Californians – especially those in rural and inland areas – remain concerned.

  • Ann, a Napa living in her 80s: “It hasn’t gone through all of the steps it normally goes through. … I’m not against vaccines, I just don’t trust them yet. ”

To encourage Californians to get the shot, the state launched two television ads on Friday for vulnerable populations and announced a partnership with local artists to spread public health news to disproportionately affected communities. A strategy was also unveiled to help Californians who live in their home country or need transportation to get their shot.

4th The wildfire season begins

A sign that was damaged by fire in Big Basin Redwoods State Park on April 22, 2021. Photo by Nic Coury, AP Photo

It seems that the forest fire season is just around the corner. A red flag warning went into effect for Northern California on Sunday morning as strong, dry winds swept over the drought-stricken area and is expected to remain in effect until Tuesday evening. A fire broke out in Santa Cruz County’s Big Basin Redwoods State Park, 95% of which was destroyed in lightning-fast wildfire last year. El Dorado County contained 40% of the 32-acre salmon fire as of Sunday, while San Diego County’s 2,900-acre southern fire was 0%.

  • Cal Fire Director Thom Porter: “The potential is great for the dry, hot weather that fueled the massive fires of the past few years to return this year. So it is up to the public to be ready.”

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CalMatters events

May 11: The post-COVID future of work. Discuss with CalMatters and the Milken Institute how California’s economic recovery can prioritize diversity, inclusion, and innovative workforce development. Register here.

CalMatters columnist Dan Walters: A prime example of Newsom’s virtue mark is his attitude towards fracking.

The promise of psychedelic therapy: California can help end the veteran suicide epidemic by giving all veterans access to psychedelic therapy through Senate Bill 519, argues Marcus Capone, former Navy SEAL and founder of VETS Inc.

A college system in crisis: The UC system is in urgent need of reform. Here’s a four-step proposal to realize its potential and expand access to California students, writes Nils Gilman of the Bergguren Institute.

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Other things worth your time

Arnold Schwarzenegger is no longer the governor of California. Law? // New York Times

Like a $ 1 million donation on behalf of Newsom was hidden in sight. // Los Angeles times

California bar quotes for inefficient disciplinary reforms. // Associated Press

Riot in the California National Guard with dismissal and suspension of the top generals. // Los Angeles times

The state agency email about the safe space following Chauvin’s judgment turns into response-all-hand-to-hand combat. // Sacramento Bee

Huntington Beach Mayor Pro Tem Tito Ortiz declared unemployment Even when city checks kept coming. // Orange County Register

The Bay Area is losing Latino homeowners. Where you go? // San Francisco Chronicle

Disneyland reopens and reappears as a beacon of optimism. // Los Angeles times

A boy was swept into the ocean. His story reveals the hidden danger of California’s sneaker waves. // San Francisco Chronicle

Poseidon receives key approval for desalination plant in Huntington Beach. // Orange County Register

How California’s climate solution actually adds millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. // ProPublica

One in five electric vehicle owners in California switched back to gas New research shows that charging their cars is a hassle. // Business Insider

Until tomorrow.

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