Idaho is one of just five states that requires all food stamp recipients to comply with its child support program, which enforces child support orders against non-custodial parents, to reduce the need for public support. But budget holdbacks in 2010 that cut 12 positions have ended that push, and Health & Welfare wants to bring it back. “Idaho’s child support program is the 9th most cost-effective in the nation,” Division of Welfare Administrator Russ Barron told JFAC this morning. “We would like to start doing this again for children receiving food assistance.” Barron said the division now believes it can bring that function back with just five of the 12 lost positions; they’re requesting funding for that next year, at $146,800 in state funds, with an equal amount of matching federal funds.
The Division of Welfare is up for its budget hearing this morning; the division touches one in three Idahoans, including 331,000 on food stamps, 300,000 in the child support program, and 298,000 in Medicaid, and numerous other programs. The division handles eligibility determinations for an array of programs including Medicaid; the Medicaid budget is up for review next this morning.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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