Budget impasse now hurting moms who depend on child support

The Illinois budget crisis now threatens to hurt a new group.

Gloria Washington said she knows several single mothers who rely on government legal help to collect child support payments they and their kids are owed. 

“It would be devastating for those parents or young mothers that have children going to school. I don't know what they're going to do,” Washington said.

Neither do Cook County officials who haven't been paid by the state for helping 21,000 moms get $29 million in child support.

At the Cook County Building, they say this particular budget mess is really about as dumb as they come. That's because of the $18 million it costs for that child support collection, the state has to pay only about one-third of it: about $6 million bucks.

IF the state paid its share, a federal agency would kick in twice as much, which would be about $12 million.

There will be a court hearing later this month on a lawsuit Cook County filed to force the state to pay. 

“Illinois taxpayers get a 200 percent return on their investment from federal taxpayer funds. That money isn't even coming in,” said Chief Financial Officer of Cook County Ivan Samstein. “It seems very unfortunate.”

Besides Cook, a half-dozen other counties face the same problem. A spokeswoman for Gov. Rauner said, "We continue working with counties throughout Illinois to ensure that all these services continue."

Also involved is Attorney General Lisa Madigan. With money for tens of thousands of children at stake, Madigan said the General Assembly and governor should act quickly.