CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Parents can't pay child support if they're in jail.
That's the rationale behind a bill unanimously passed by the West Virginia Senate on Tuesday. The bill would ease the punishments for knowingly failing to pay child support.
Repeated failure to pay child support is punishable by a felony and a minimum of one year in jail.
The bill passed by the Senate would change the crime to a misdemeanor and change the punishment to home confinement. The bill mandates that anyone sentenced to home confinement must find a job or register with Workforce West Virginia for job training.
The bill institutes graduated sentencing so that a second offense would mean a maximum of one year in jail and a third offense a minimum of one year in jail.