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Eye On Boise

Armstrong: ‘Child support bill is about personal responsibility’

Dick Armstrong, director of the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare, has sent out an op-ed piece to Idaho newspapers urging support for child support enforcement legislation to be taken up in a special session of the Idaho Legislature on Monday. “It is critical that we uphold the values that make Idaho great,” he writes. “At the top of that list is personal responsibility.”

Armstrong writes, “This is not about state sovereignty, due process or the protection of personal information from foreign governments. If you examine the proposed bill, there are safeguards to protect our privacy and state authority. There are no hidden agendas here.  This is about Idaho standing firm to effectively work with other states and countries so children do not go hungry or rely on public assistance programs to meet their basic needs.”

He writes, “I am the first one to wish we did not have to enforce child support in our state.  But the reality is that enforcement is necessary.  We only collect 16 percent of child support voluntarily.  This legislation is the one tool that can hold parents accountable so children don’t suffer. It prevents a parent from shifting their responsibility to the other parent. It prevents growth in public assistance programs. It prevents our state from becoming a haven for deadbeat parents.” You can read his full article 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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