EDITOR’S NOTE: On Wednesday, February 4, Maryland’s Comptroller invited 5 media and news organizations to join him for an informal look at the state’s economic situation and to discuss what needs to be accomplished in order to move Maryland through the difficult economy. TBN was the sole news organization invited from Southern Maryland to attend that meeting. During the meeting, everything from ethnic diversity to delinquent child support payment was discussed with open candor. What follows is the first of three planned articles about the information provided.
Franchot Warns Dead Beat Parents
Maryland Comptroller, Peter Franchot is serious about Maryland’s economy, its citizens and its future. Over the past months, the Comptroller has had to rethink just about every facet of Maryland’s tax and revenue system.
Franchot is deeply concerned about Maryland’s long-term future and the immediate impact that the rapidly deteriorating economy will have on individuals and small businesses with the conditions worse than at any time since the Great Depression. “We are in for more than a few months of a bad economy,” said Franchot.
One of the areas that Franchot feels strongly about is getting those who deserve a better life, the tools to do so whenever it is possible. The Comptroller recently was working in support of a bill that would help enforcement and collection of child support payments for parents who have to raise children and are not receiving child support.
He indicated that his office regularly gets an accounting so that the state’s treasury department can compare payments due against that received, unclaimed assets and more. Franchot’s staff discovered that the office had never cross-referenced unclaimed assets against delinquent child support payers.
“When we looked into that, we immediately had over 1,000 hits for unclaimed assets that belonged to dead beat parents,” said Franchot. He went on to state that there would have to be legislation that would allow the state to redirect those assets toward parents needing help.
The Comptroller indicated that the unclaimed assets are valued at well over $700 million and that this new resource should provide a significant amount of funds for those who most need it; parents supporting children without help from estranged fathers or mothers.
Once legislation is passed, there will be a mechanism to redistribute these funds. That legislation is expected to be debated and passed in the next session of the Maryland Legislature and should provide some much welcomed relief for struggling single parents.
On Monday, Feb. 9, the next article in the s