South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem on Friday granted a three-month extension to a commission tasked with recommending changes to the state’s child support payment laws.
The Child Support Commission had faced a deadline to issue a report to the governor and state legislature by Dec. 31, 2021.
Noem’s executive order extended the commission until the end of March.
Federal law calls for the review of child support guidelines to be completed every four years and was to be done in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, resulted in the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement granting a one-year extension.
The Child Support Commission met during the fall and planned to finalize its recommendations last month but had not done so.
The commission, administered by the Department of Social Services (DSS), held its first meeting July 29 and held several public meetings around the state in the fall.
The commission is comprised of representatives of custodial and noncustodial parents, family law attorneys, the judiciary, the legislature, and DSS.
The review analyzes economic data on the cost of raising children and complex factors for custodial and noncustodial parents.
In early December, Noem announced that grants to assist child care providers licensed and registered with DSS would soon be available.
"Child care services are a vital component of South Dakota's strong economy," DSS Cabinet Secretary Laurie Gill said in a release.
"South Dakota is investing in our communities and families by helping stabilize child care providers. I am grateful to Governor Noem for including this priority issue in her recommended budget and for spreading awareness by highlighting this program in her budget address."
South Dakota received $100 million through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 to help support child care providers and families impacted by COVID-19. DSS will use the funds to support new and existing child care providers through a variety of grants, including stabilization funding, program enhancements, and startup funding for new day cares.
The initial distribution of this funding includes $60 million in stabilization grants to existing child care providers. DSS is managing the application process with an anticipated awarding of grants.
Grant awards will be based on the provider's average monthly expenditures.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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