Washington State House Democrats


House passes Walen bill to make critical corrections to the child support schedule 

OLYMPIA – A bill to make the child support system more accurately reflect the realities of inflation has passed the Washington House of Representatives. House Bill 2254, sponsored by Rep. Amy Walen, D-Kirkland, aims to make the child support schedule fairer to payers and recipients. 

“Our state updates the child support schedule every four years,” said Walen. “In that time, we’ve seen a pandemic, significant inflation, unprecedented substance use challenges, as well as other hurdles that make supporting a child difficult. The work group advised us that we needed to make changes and I am glad this is heading to the Senate.” 

Legislators addressed these problems by extending the economic table to include income levels of $50,000 and the floor to levels of $2,200. The bill also creates a temporary reprieve from child support payments, if the payer is in court-ordered mental health or substance use treatment programs. It also sets the level a payer needs to be able to self-support at 180 percent of the federal poverty level for a one-person family. Child support payments cannot force a payer below this level. 

“I’d like to thank the Child Support Schedule Workgroup for all for all its hard work,” continued Walen. “We must keep an eye on programs like these to make sure they reflect the realities our families face. The work group helps us do that by listening to advocates and making recommendations. It serves a vital role in our child support policy decisions.” 

The Child Support Schedule Workgroup convenes every four years to examine the child support schedule and makes recommendations to the legislature. 

House Bill 2254 now heads to the Senate for consideration.