WCSEA Names Lassa Legislator of the Year

Group honors passage of Children First bill


Madison – The Wisconsin Child Support Enforcement Association (WCSEA) named State Senator Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point) its Legislator of the Year last night in recognition for her leadership in passing the Children First law that helps non-custodial parents meet their children’s economic needs.


WCSEA presented the honor to Sen. Lassa at a banquet in Wisconsin Dells, where the group has been holding its Fall Convention.


The new law will allow courts to assign parents to participate in Children First programs outside their home counties if it is within a reasonable driving distance.  Children First is a local program that provides employment placement, training, and other support services to non-custodial parents who cannot pay child support because they are unemployed or underemployed.


“Children First is successful in helping unemployed and underemployed parents obtain better jobs so they can better support themselves and their children.  Unfortunately, not every county has these programs,” Sen. Lassa said. “This measure will allow judges to assign parents to Children First programs in nearby counties, which will help more parents find stable employment.”


Wisconsin’s Children First program is administered by the Department of Children and Families and delivered through county social service agencies.  However, only 21 counties in Wisconsin currently have Children First programs.  Sen. Lassa introduced the measure along with Rep. Nancy VanderMeer (R-Tomah), who was also recognized by WCSEA.


“This bill will help non-custodial parents improve their lives, and will make sure their children have the resources they need and deserve,” Sen. Lassa said.  “I’m pleased that WCSEA chose to honor this bi-partisan effort.”


# # #