UPDATED: Nixon Responds Below
Republican candidate for Governor Kenny Hulshof wants to increase the collection of child support payments by creating new regional projects to better enforce local judgments.
Missouri children only receive 21 cents of every dollar they are owed in child support, according to the Hulshof campaign. "In fact, nearly $2 billion in child support payments remain outstanding in Missouri. Pennsylvania ranks first in the nation, collecting 46 cents of every dollar. If Missouri collected at a rate similar to Pennsylvania, our state’s children could stand to gain $610 million in additional resources," reads a Hulshof release.
"State government has failed the children of Missouri by not more aggressively pursuing these payments," Hulshof said. "I will work with law enforcement officials, from the attorney general all the way to local prosecutors, regardless of party, to fix it," he added.
The Hulshof campaign also took a jab at Democratic opponent Jay Nixon in announcing their plan. They point to a July 2003 statement by Nixon, saying that "Missouri would rise from the middle of the pack" to the "upper tier" of states in child support collections.
"Unfortunately Jay Nixon did not live up to his promise," reads the Hulshof release. "Missouri remains in the middle tier. If Jay Nixon had done as he promised, more Missouri children would have access to health insurance," it goes on. Hulshof's campaign contends that Missouri ranks 25th in the country in child support enforcement.
UPDATED 7:06 P.M. . . The Nixon campaign said that Hulshof's attack was meant to distract. "Making sure parents pay child support is certainly an important issue, but as Congressman Hulshof knows, the Attorney General’s Office is not primarily responsible for collecting it," said Nixon spokesperson Oren Shur. "With this attack, Congressman Hulshof is trying to distract Missourians from the issue on everyone’s mind today, theeconomic crisis that he helped create in Washington. Congressman Hulshof voted for the failed economic policies that created this mess, but he’d rather just pretend everything is fine and talk about something else."