Miss. lawmakers consider allowing privatization of child support collection, other DHS duties

The Mississippi House on Tuesday passed the final version of a bill to let the Department of Human Services hire private contractors to collect overdue child support.

But lawmakers said House Bill 1009 would not stop at child support collections. Opponents said the bill is so broadly written that it would allow DHS to privatize a wide range of its duties.

“This bill did start as child support,” said Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville. “It is as broad as the state of Mississippi. It is long and wide now — anything within Human Services.”

The bill passed the House 62-56, and was held for the possibility of more debate. It also would have to pass the Senate before it could go to Republican Gov. Phil Bryant.