Child support paternity bill sidelined

A Monroe lawmaker Tuesday temporarily shelved his proposal to ban the state’s social services department from trying to collect child support from people who haven’t been proven to be parents through a paternity test.

State Rep. Marcus Hunter, D-Monroe, said he’d continue to discuss the idea with the Department of Children and Family Services, which raised concerns about House Bill 459. He agreed to defer his proposal in the House Civil Law and Procedure Committee for at least a week while the two sides talk.

But it’s unclear if they can reach a compromise.

State Department of Children and Family Services Secretary Suzy Sonnier said Hunter’s proposal would put Louisiana in direct conflict with federal law and could jeopardize the state’s ability to receive more than $200 million in federal social services money annually.

Hunter said a person shouldn’t be compelled to pay child support unless proven to be the child’s parent.