House committee tables child support collection bill, potentially losing millions in fed money

(Updated 7:10 pm)

The House Judiciary and Rules Committee voted 9-8 Friday afternoon to table a bill that would put Idaho in compliance with federal child support collection.

According to Idaho Child Support Program Director Kandace Yearsley said the bill’s failure means an immediate loss of more than $16 million in federal funds to the state of Idaho for its child support collection program. The federal government would also deny Idaho access to its child support enforcement tools that all states use to collect child support from parents who live in other states, and put into limbo another $30 million in funds for the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, which is tied to the state’s child support program. (Read our previous coverage of the bill here.)

The House can vote to reconsider a bill that has been tabled with two-thirds majority consent.

The bill, which passed the Senate unanimously, would put Idaho in compliance with federal regulations pertaining to the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act, putting into Idaho’s existing law provisions of the 2007 Hague Convention on International Recovery of Child Support and Family Maintenance.

Because of the Hague Convention involvement, committee members expressed concern about foreign governments overriding Idaho law with child support judgments. Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, expressed particular concern over Sharia law being implemented in the state, and whether the state would have the ability to challenge or review another country’s judgment.

Attorney Scott Keim, who answered committee members questions over the phone, said no foreign government or tribunal would have jurisdiction over any Idaho citizen unless the Idahoan actually moved to the country, and that the state and US constitutions would always override any judgment. He also pointed out there are no countries involved with the Hague Convention that are under Sharia Law.

Yearsley told the committee failure to pass the bill would make the state a haven for deadbeat parents who don’t want to pay child support, as Idaho wouldn’t have any way to enforce collection. Even if the state could replace the lost $16 million, Idaho would lose access to enforcement tools and information the federal government provides to all states.

After the committee took action, the Department of Health and Welfare sent out a press release urging constituents to contact lawmakers and ask them to reconsider.

““This is new territory for us,” said Richard Armstrong, director of the Department of Health and Welfare, in the press release. “We’ll work with our federal partners to determine the total impact, but this vote will make it nearly impossible for us to enforce child support like we should, so Idaho’s children are taken care of. The bottom line is that Idaho families may not receive their support money because we will not have the tools we need to make sure those payments are made.”

According to the press release, the Department of Health and Welfare currently receives and distributes $205 million in support payments for 155,000 children.

According to Yearsley, of those cases, just 97 have an international component.

“It’s much less than one percent of the cases,” she said.

“The Idaho House of Representatives just dismantled child support enforcement in Idaho,” wrote Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d’Alene, online after the committee vote.

Those who voted to table the bill: Reps. Dayley, Luker, McMillan, Sims, Trujillo, Cheatham, Kerby, Nate, Scott. Those who voted not to table the bill: Reps. Malek, Wills, McDonald, Perry, McCrostie, Nye, Wintrow, Gannon.

Watch for updates as we get more information, and for more analysis, watch tonight’s Idaho Reports at 8 pm MST/7 pm PST on Idaho Public Television.


One thought on “House committee tables child support collection bill, potentially losing millions in fed money

  1. Wendyjo says:

    You’ve tabled the protection of children via financial child support due to fear of Sharia law, did I get that right? Your fear of Sharia law, even though you all are Christians and know next to nothing about Sunni and Shia Muslims, correct?

    I’m shaking my head and wondering how in the hell did so called Christian people get so stupid? Tense down. I’m a Christian, raised a Mormon and got over than cult making it into a Christian Church – the United Methodist Church. My now ex-husband, his parents born and raised in Kentucky, and his paternal grandfather a Methodist Minister, married me with the blessings of a Methodist minister.

    We had one child, a daughter, who once she became an adult, married a Iraqi refugee. He came to Idaho at the age of 14 with paper work that said he was 10 years older. His oldest brother had been murdered by Saddam Hussein when he was a baby because he was protesting, demanding that all Iraqis be treated equally. He and his family were Shiite Iraqis, Saddam Hussein was a Sunni Muslim. Saddam had his brother killed.
    Then my son-in-law’s father protested against the murder of his son. So Saddam Hussein had him killed. My future son-in-law grew up and found out what had happened to his oldest brother when he was a baby and he became angry. His mother and uncle knew he would be the next one killed by Saddam Hussein so they filled out refugee paper work to send him to the USA but made his age 10 years older, because he was the youngest of his siblings, they were all married with children and could not accompany him and his mother was ill so also could not go with him to the USA. Salah was accepted to the USA as a refugee at the age of 14 with paper work that said he was 24.

    Immigration wanted him to go right to school but he said no, no, no. He wanted to go to work and so they put him to work in a local hospital kitchen, learning first the dishes clean-up, then the other janitorial work, and finally to cook. From there he went on to cook in the restaurants of diners belonging to other Iraqi-Americans. Today he owns his own restaurant (kind of), manages and fully operates the diner with the help of my daughter. He and my daughter also own their own home, three vehicles, his Harley Davidson motorcycle, and a boat. Plus they had a baby girl and a baby boy, just for me: now ages 5 and 1, respectively.

    I’m the Grandma!

    Between grandbaby one and two, they got into a tiff, I don’t know what it was about and I didn’t ask. My daughter came home, bringing her baby girl with her, and there was nobody happier than Me, Me, Me!
    My daughter looked for a job in her field, she did have a college degree, but there was nothing available in SE Idaho – BIG No Surprise. Baby daddy told her he hurt really bad because his family had sent him away, he didn’t have them anymore and now, she took his family here away. He was hurting more now, than he’d ever hurt in his life.

    But he didn’t got into a melt down or a jihad. He sent money for the support of his daughter and wife every month while my daughter was gone. He was and is a sensible, loving and caring man and a Shiite Muslim.

    He’d never kill his children or his wife. My son-in-law supports their life as well as his own. Sharia Law is an action of mad men, not the decision of loving fathers and husbands.

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