The long-awaited child support draft legislation is finally posted, and according to the governor’s office, Sen. Bart Davis, Rep. Lynn Luker, Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill, House Speaker Scott Bedke, and others have signed off. Are the changes substantial? Judge for yourself.
Most of the language is identical to Senate Bill 1067, though there are a few amendments tacked on the end that will add new language to totally different sections of Idaho Code. Here’s a breakdown:
-An amendment that says no Idaho court or agency will enforce or recognize an order issued from another country that is incompatible with Idaho code. This new section of code specifically addresses due process concerns.
-A section addressing the registration of foreign support orders.
-A new section directing the director of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to develop safeguards to ensure the security of Idahoans’ personal data, as well as put together a process to authenticate requests for information made as a result of the Hague treaty. There is also language directing the state not to provide information on an Idaho resident’s location if there is a protective or no-contact order in place. “The State shall take all necessary steps to ensure the security of data and prevent disclosure to unauthorized persons, entities or jurisdictions,” the draft legislation says.
-Language directing the governor or a designee to monitor proceedings affecting Idaho residents and report to the Legislature. “If at any time it appears that such proceedings are imperiling Idaho residents of affecting Idaho residents in an unjust manner, it is the intent of the Legislature that request be made to the federal government to file a denunciation under Article 64 of the Convention on behalf of the State of Idaho,” the bill says.
One section lawmakers initially discussed — a mental health exception to paying alimony — is not in the final draft.Davis, who told Idaho Reports last week he didn’t support the amendments, said he’s now on board. “I think that the bill is something that I can and will support,” he said.
Last week, Hill told Idaho Reports he didn’t think the changes were necessary, but Hill added he didn’t think they did any harm, either.”I think those things are already addressed elsewhere in Idaho statute, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to reiterate some of those things and tie it in with this particular statute,” Hill said.
You can read Gov. Otter’s press release below:
C.L. “Butch” Otter
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT: Jon Hanian
May 4, 2015 (208) 334-2100
GOVERNOR OTTER POSTS DRAFT CHILD SUPPORT BILL FOR SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE SESSION ONLINE
(BOISE) – Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter posted draft child support legislation on his Web site today that will be the focus of deliberations when the Idaho Legislature convenes May 18 for its first special session since 2006.
The proposed language can be found here. Governor Otter announced last week that he was calling the special session after Senate Bill 1067 was tabled by a House committee as the Legislature prepared to adjourn its 2015 regular session last month.
The special session will deal solely with the issue of Idaho’s child support system, which impacts more than 400,000 Idaho children and parents – or about one in four Idaho citizens. The Governor said last week that he hopes the Legislature’s work can be concluded “in hours, not days.”
“I want every parent and family relying on court-ordered child support payments to have the chance to review this bill. I want every member of the Legislature to have a better understanding of what it does and does not do, and a fuller appreciation of what happens if we fail to act affirmatively,” Governor Otter said. “The more everyone knows – not ‘thinks’ but knows – about this measure, the better chance we have for success.”
The proposed legislation would achieve the same goals with much of the same language as Senate Bill 1067. But Health and Welfare experts, House Speaker Scott Bedke, Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill and Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, the Governor’s Office and some of the lawmakers who opposed its passage last month – including Reps. Lynn Luker and Tom Dayley – worked together to fine-tune some subtleties and reach agreement on the language in recent days. Those changes have been approved by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services officials responsible for monitoring state compliance with federal child support laws and regulations.
The State of Idaho stands to lose $16 million in child support system operating funds, access to the federal government’s tools and databases for locating and tracking parents whose child support payments are in arears, as well as the authority to garnish wages or work with other states on child support cases, unless the Legislature acts by June 12. The State also could lose more than $30 million in federal support for services under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, including child care for low-income working families, employment training and Head Start