Columbia, SC (WLTX)- South Carolina is the only state in the country that doesn't have a child support database system, and it looks like it could be that way for another 3 years if it stays on the current timeline.
Lawmakers met with the Department of Social Services on Tuesday to discuss speeding up a project that was supposed to be complete two decades ago.
"Theres got to be a ways to accelerate this," Chairman Sen. Tom Young said. "Get this thing done 6 months early, a year, early, 4 months early."
The computerized database is needed to track down dead beat parents and collect child support payments.
The state has paid more than $100 million of taxpayer money in fines for missing the deadline year after year.
"Not only is it costly for the taxpayer, cause we pay fines, but most importantly it's costly for the families that depend on child support," Sen. Joel Lourie said.
During the hearing, Young asked project director Jimmy Early and DSS Director Susan Alford to consider speeding up the timeline.
"It pushes risk onto us, and so we have to evaluate whether or not that's something we want to do." Alford said. "The last thing that we want is for the system to roll out at the end of all these number of years of not getting the system up and running, to have it end with a system that doesn't work.
Alford said she is trying to shorten the timeline, but it is being weighed against the cost of doing so.
She requested to speak to the governor about suggestions before giving lawmakers an answer.
An update is expected at the beginning of December.