Center for Parental Responsibility

P.O. Box 130776           Roseville, MN 55113     VM 651/490-9277

Website: cpr-mn.org    Email: info@cpr-mn.org


CONTACT: Molly K. Olson

Volunteer Executive Director

651/490-5060 (Direct Phone - Office)



Stop Welfare for the Affluent






Roseville, Minn. – Concerned taxpayers and citizen activists from the Center for Parental Responsibility (CPR) are requesting the Minnesota House Health and Human Services Policy committee to take HF1031 off the table for further discussion. This nonpartisan bill, introduced last session, would modify the IV-D welfare program by requiring eligibility standards when currently none exist in state law. Legislators in both parties have shown support for the bill.


In 1974 Congress passed Public Law 93-647, the Child Support Enforcement Act, creating Title IV-D to complement Title IV-A of the Social Security Act (SSA). Congress enacted Title IV-D as a cooperative federal/state partnership for the cost recovery of Title IV-A payments to reduce and prevent the swelling costs of cash payments channeled through Aid for Dependent Children (AFDC) – now called Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). The goal of the IV-D program is to reduce taxpayer expense.


The IV-D program was intended to be a needs-based program, using tax dollars for citizens: 1) on public assistance, or 2) at risk of being on public assistance, if recipients did not receive their child support payments. In Minnesota, the IV-D program has grown beyond the congressional intent, and exceeds it’s scope and purpose, by providing the full spectrum of services to all applicants. These services include a free county attorney, a free case manager, free billing and account receivable services, free case-related postage, free database services to track everything in the case, and much more. Because the program has no limitations based on need, the program necessitates excessive manpower and government resources, resulting in an unnecessary burden to the Minnesota taxpayers. CPR refers to the expansion of services to private cases as an unauthorized overreach of authority.


In Minnesota, the federal IV-D program is supervised by the state and administered by the county. There is an abundance of federal reports, that indicate the states are allowed and expected to use prudent discretion. While the federal government reimburses the state for certain efforts to implement these welfare services, the state and county taxpayers are paying the remaining 34% of the costs. CPR alleges the final cost to Minnesota taxpayers may exceed $139 million a year, when all known and hidden costs are considered. There may be as many as 189,000 unqualified applicants currently receiving services.


After 7 years of research, CPR drafted this bill to bring the IV-D program practices into compliance with federal intent, which is to reduce taxpayer expense and preserve the services for the needy. This bill would also help reduce the state and county budget problems. Currently anyone in Minnesota who applies for these IV-D welfare services is allowed into the program, regardless of their income or financial need. The application process requires no verification that any problem exists that would warrant government intervention to provide public aid. All applicants are provided up to 100 different unlimited IV-D welfare services at no charge, for more than 20 years, all at the taxpayer’s expense. Legislators voted last session to charge applicants for these services. CPR believes the 1-2% fee to be implemented this summer will not provide adequate reimbursements for the services. The fee is merely a token contribution, often requiring less than $5 a month for county attorney fees, even if the applicant makes $100,000 or more a year. CPR contends those with the financial means can acquire the services privately without government assistance. The fees do not address the problem of public spending on what should be private family matters.


All taxpayers, including the working poor, are paying federal and local tax dollars to help provide these IV-D welfare services to the financially secure and affluent. In a sense, we are currently taking from the poor to provide more to the rich. All counties require excessive tax levies to pay for the IV-D program each year. Hennepin County required a tax levy of $5 million in 2002 to provide these services. In 2003, Ramsey County required a tax levy of $4 million from property tax owners in order to provide these services to the non-needy. A parent living in a $2 million home, making $200,000 a year would qualify for IV-D welfare services. Music icon Michael Jackson, a custodial parent, would qualify for IV-D welfare services in Minnesota, if he was a resident and filled out an application and paid a one-time fee of $25. Few citizens realize this is one reason property taxes are so high in Minnesota.


On April 2, 2003, at a public hearing for HF 1031, the Department of Human Services (DHS) claimed this bill would violate federal law. CPR claims the DHS mislead the committee to believe the state would lose $350 million by implementing eligibility standards for IV-D welfare. The House Health and Human Services Policy Committee tabled the bill, due to the unsubstantiated threat of losing money.


CPR has provided evidence that this threat was unfounded and is requesting the bill be heard again this session. The DHS wants to preserve the current application of the program at all costs. CPR believes what is good for the DHS empire is not good for the taxpayers, families, and citizens of Minnesota. CPR seeks to clarify the distinction between private and public cases, believing the DHS has no compelling state interest in private cases where there is no need. It is widely held that the state must re-evaluate our erroneously imbedded paradigms, many of which originated and persist at the DHS, where there has been a long-standing agenda to grow the bureaucracy.


The CPR research team has completed extensive research of federal law, applicable case law, congressional records, legislative history, and the Social Security Act, to arrive at the merits of HF1031. The group is asking the legislature to require a full investigation and disclosure of the facts. It is in the best interest of the citizens of the state to hold a public hearing to thoroughly debate the questions of fact and law, so the greater weight of the evidence can prevail to determine the proper outcome.


All government agencies are being asked to review their programs and share the burden of financial reductions. Clarifying eligibility standards for the IV-D welfare program is the fiscally responsible thing to do. In order to secure the public trust, Lead Advocate and Spokesperson, Molly K. Olson, acting as Volunteer Executive Director of CPR, stated “citizens expect our elected officials to be responsible and consider every factor and leave no stone unturned as we address the problems and possible solutions to our budget deficit, in a way that will protect services for the poor, needy and vulnerable.”


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