Idaho Falls attorney Steve Taggart, in a column in the Idaho Politics Weekly newsletter that’s published by Zions Bank this week, takes on the main arguments raised against SB 1067, the child support enforcement bill, by Reps. Kathy Sims, Ron Nate and Lynn Luker in recent newspaper op-ed pieces. Going point by point, Taggart finds the arguments misplaced, concluding, “The best public policy debates occur when both sides of the issue make arguments grounded in fact."
Among them: Taggart writes that Sims’ contention that the bill could compromise Idaho’s sovereignty by requiring the state “to enforce ill-gotten Child Support Enforcement (CSE) orders made in a foreign country” simply “reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the how the legal system works.” He cites U.S. Supreme Court and Idaho Supreme Court cases stretching back to 1901, and lists the nine grounds enumerated in SB 1067 under which an Idaho court could disallow a foreign child support order, from a lack of due process to not meeting Idaho standards for personal jurisdiction.
Nate’s contention that the bill would “subject Idaho to international law,” Taggart writes, is “a misunderstanding.” The bill allows Idaho only recognition of the amount owed under the child support order, he writes, not the substantive law of the foreign country.
On Luker’s claim that the bill would “open federal databases to foreign countries,” Taggart, who has worked on Capitol Hill, explains how a request from a foreign country would go to the U.S. Office of Child Support Enforcement, which would access federal databases to locate deadbeat parents – not turn them over. “The federal child support databases themselves are stored in a secure Social Security Administration facility with access limited to authorized personnel. Even states only receive data extracts, not the full database.” You can read his full column here.