Idaho Legislature Skips Child Support Bill Surprising State Officials
BOISE, Idaho (KTVB) -- The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is shocked by a decision they say has never happened before in the Gem State. It all revolves around a bill lawmakers tabled late Friday night that would provide funding and tools to the state's child support system. It could impact 400,000 Idaho families and mean up to $50 million lost. It's something that's been in place since 2001, basically agreeing that Idaho will comply with federal standards when it comes to child support.
Senate Bill 1067 was an upgrade to that law, basically a maintenance measure that state and federal officials thought would pass without any controversy. Instead, it was suddenly killed.
Single mother Angela Binford says she's appalled by the decision to table the bill, cutting $16 million and access to tools like the federal database to track parents who owe payments. Department of Health and Welfare Director Richard Armstrong was just as surprised by the committee's decision. Some lawmakers said they worried about the compromise of privacy and whether passing the law would impact Idaho law when it comes to child support.
If the child support system is cut, the Department of Health and Welfare is also worried about losing $30 million federal dollars for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families programs. Armstrong says they are now looking at any and all options to keep the program in place. Idaho is the only state not to pass this law. Nineteen others already have, and the rest say they plan to. No word yet on whether Gov. Butch Otter plans to call a special session to discuss this issue.