- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 5, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio authorities say they have seized $2 million in unpaid child support from jackpot winners at the state’s casinos and racinos in the past 11 months.

Since last September, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has been working with the casinos and racinos to check jackpot winners against a database of parents who owe child support.

If a winner owes, then all or part of the jackpot is withheld.

The agency says Ohio’s county child support enforcement offices collect 69 percent of all child support owed, better than the national average of 64 percent.

Ohio consistently ranks in the top five of all states for collections on current support due, and exceeds the national average for establishing paternity.

Separately, in New Mexico, Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration again is offering temporary amnesty for parents facing possible arrest for unpaid child support.

The governor’s office announced this week an enforcement crackdown will start at the end of the month targeting those who don’t take advantage of the program.

State officials say individuals can visit a state Child Support Enforcement Division office without fear of arrest and pay a bond to cancel outstanding bench warrants for not paying child support.

Efforts will be made to negotiate a payment plan for those who can’t afford the full bond.

The amnesty runs through Aug. 31, but police will start a sweep for people with arrest warrants during the final week.

A list of parents with outstanding bench warrants is posted on a state web site.

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