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Eye On Boise

House panel holding up child support enforcement bill; move could cost state tens of millions

A House committee is holding up a bill to bring Idaho’s child support enforcement plan into compliance with federal law – potentially losing the state tens of millions of dollars, forcing the layoff of more than 100 state employees and cancelling contracts across the state – because of some members’ concerns about possibly subjecting the state to Sharia or foreign laws, reports Melissa Davlin of Idaho Public TV’s “Idaho Reports.” Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, who earlier voted for SB 1067 when it unanimously passed the Senate, told the House Judiciary & Rules Committee that she now objects to putting Idaho into compliance with the 2007  Hague Convention on International Recovery of Child Support and Family Maintenance, as required by federal law; it’s designed to get uniform child support enforcement across the nation and in other countries, allowing governments to collect child support from parents regardless of where they live.

The Hague Convention treaty includes Bosnia and Albania, “that are Muslim controlled countries…. and they are governed under Islamic law,” Nuxoll told the House panel.

Parrish Miller of the Idaho Freedom Foundation also criticized the bill in an analysis posted on the Idaho Freedom Foundation's website. State officials say if the bill doesn’t pass, Idaho will not have an approved child support enforcement plan as required by federal law. That would result in “immediate suspension of all federal payments for the state’s child support enforcement program,” to the tune of more than $16 million, two-thirds of the state’s appropriation for child support enforcement. Plus, the state could lose millions more in Temporary Assistance to Needy Families funds. Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d’Alene, tells Davlin the concerns are misplaced, and the bill wouldn’t subject Idahoans to foreign or Sharia laws.

You can read Davlin’s full report online here.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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