Eye On Boise

And from the silver lining department…

Idaho Health & Welfare Director Dick Armstrong makes his budget pitch to state lawmakers, 1/20/09 (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)
Idaho Health & Welfare Director Dick Armstrong makes his budget pitch to state lawmakers, 1/20/09 (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

Amid the tough times at the state Department of Health & Welfare, there's been a somewhat surprising bright spot: More parents are paying their back child support in these difficult economic times. There's a reason, however: They've lost their jobs and gone on unemployment. "We can garnish unemployment and that will pay for the arrears," Health & Welfare Director Dick Armstrong told legislative budget writers.

The rest of his news wasn't so bright, as he kicked off three days of budget hearings on Health & Welfare programs. "Growing numbers of families and individuals ... are coming through our doors seeking assistance," Armstrong said. "Many of them have not been out of work before, and may not have applied for assistance." Armstrong said with this new population of the needy, he's confident that state aid can help them get back on their feet so they can rebound. "With your support, we can have stabilized families during this time of critical need," he told JFAC, "and by doing that, when the economy does recover, which it will, Idaho can emerge from this even stronger than it was before."




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