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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Idaho receives formal notice from feds on child support, 60-day clock starts ticking…

Idaho has received its formal, 60-day notice from the federal government that it will lose $16 million in child-support enforcement funds if Idaho doesn’t bring its system into compliance with federal rules within 60 days. Idaho Public TV reporter Melissa Davlin reported on her blog here today that the notice arrived last night, starting the 60-day clock ticking. In addition to losing that federal money, Idaho stands to lose access to the federal enforcement system it uses to enforce more than $200 million a year in support payments to Idaho children, and another $30 million in state Temporary Assistance to Needy Families funding also would be in jeopardy.

“The state’s failure to comply with the federal law has national implications, affecting not just the children and families in Idaho, but involving every other state in the country as well,” wrote Vicki Turetsky, commissioner of the U.S. Office of Child Support Enforcement, in the formal notice letter to Gov. Butch Otter. All states must bring their rules into compliance this year in order for the United States to ratify a 2007 international treaty, she wrote, to “ensure that more United States children will obtain financial support, regardless of where their parents live.” You can read the full letter here.

Incidentally, according to the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare, $39.3 million of the $205 million in child support payments it processed in 2014 involved interstate collections, either for Idaho kids whose parents live elsewhere, or Idaho parents whose kids live elsewhere. There were nearly three times as many of the former as the latter - $28.8 million involved payments to Idaho kids from out-of-state parents, and $10.6 million involved payments from Idaho parents to kids living elsewhere.

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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