Mississippi workers protest child support privatization

By Laura Tillman/The Associated Press

JACKSON — Mississippi state workers are protesting legislative efforts to privatize the state’s child support program.

Mississippi Alliance of State Employees President Brenda Scott says House Bill 1009 would likely cause state workers to lose their jobs. She says that the state tried to privatize child support services in Hinds and Warren counties in the 1990’s, but that the private entity ultimately collected less money per case.

Scott says that private vendors will ultimately go after cases of overdue child support that are most lucrative, leaving low-income families underrepresented.

Scott wore a black veil as she spoke Tuesday, which she says symbolizes her state of mourning over a number of bills passing through the statehouse that will negatively impact state workers.