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Eye On Boise

Testimony: ‘An amazing process,’ ‘An extortion demand,’ ‘Personal responsibility,’ ‘Not simply bending over’

More than a dozen people have testified so far, evenly divided in favor of the bill and against, and they were called alternately, one for, one against. Here are some of the comments:

Kathy Scott, representing the American Association of University Women, said, “How great is it to live in a state where we can come together like this, citizens and our legislators and have this kind of discourse? I think it’s an amazing process.” She said AAUW supports HB 1. “To fail to pass this bill would be catastrophic for the children of Idaho whose parents receive child support,” she told the lawmakers.

Vicky Davis, of Twin Falls County, said, “The federal government does not have the power to change state law, which is why they issued an extortion demand, holding children hostage.” She said, “It’s unconstitutional what they’re doing, they can’t do it.”

Barbara Blasch of AARP spoke in favor of the bill, saying what it’s really about is “personal responsibility.”

Russ Smerz, speaking for the Leadership Council, a group of tea party and liberty groups, said he highlighted “100 times in this bill where it said ‘foreign.’ … This is about overreach from foreign and federal government and we urge you not to vote for this bill.”

Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, asked Smerz, “What’s your definition of state sovereignty?” Smerz responded, “State sovereignty is our ability to control in our state what we’re going to act on . … State sovereignty is you people, this is a citizen legislative group. … It’s important for the states to decide what’s good for the state, not for the federal government.”

Beth Oppenheimer of the Idaho Association for Education of Young Children, also a board member of the Treasure Valley Family YMCA, said, “The risk to our Idaho parents and caregivers of losing child support would be devastating to our children, our families and our communities.”  

Jeff Wright called on lawmakers to “drop HB 1 and substitute a resolution that supports the governor and the attorney general in carrying forward with an injunction against the federal government ... particularly if they try to cut off access to the electronic system ... not simply bending over and saying ‘do whatever you want.’” 

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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