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Congratulations to New York, Maine, Massachusetts and California for realizing the need to become more proactive in collecting past-due child support. By initiating the suspension of drivers and professional licenses in cases where deadbeat parents are more than four months behind in their child support payments, these states have seen an increase in past-due collections.

When will Utah realize the benefits of such measures? I cannot say how much money in past-due child support goes uncollected each year in Utah. However, it only stands to reason that if Recovery Services had the option of suspending drivers' and professional licenses for past-due accounts, there would be more "bite" in the court order to pay up.I am impressed with the efforts of the agency, for it makes a valiant effort while being chronically understaffed and underfunded. But how effective can the agency be when all that is in the arsenal are a few threatening letters, garnisheeing wages (which doesn't help when trying to collect from the self-employed), withholding income tax returns and obscure references to further action by the attorney general.

It is time that parents stand up to their responsibility in supporting their children. With the option of suspending licenses, the state would have a measure that occurs swiftly and effectively. Without such a measure, past-due child support will continue to be just that, past due.

Larae Thomas

Salt Lake City