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Eye On Boise

Testimony: ‘Things that kids need,’ ‘End run around Constitution,’ ‘Critical lifeline,’ ‘Subjugate our state’

Lauren Necochea testifies on the child support bill on Monday (Betsy Z. Russell)
Lauren Necochea testifies on the child support bill on Monday (Betsy Z. Russell)

Among the first to testify today on the child support bill:

Lauren Necochea, director of Idaho Voices for Children, told the lawmakers, “In Idaho, we all agree that parents should be responsible for caring for their children, regardless of whether the parents are married or living under one roof. One of the ways we see to this is through child support orders. … These are real dollars that pay a family’s mortgage or rent, put food on the table, cover medical expenses, and pay for shoes, backpacks, and all the other things that kids need.”

Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, asked Necochea if her job required her to take an oath to uphold the Constitution; Necochea said no.

Ronalee Linsenman decried “the Department of Health & Human Services putting a target on these children and threatening to withhold these funds from our state. You have to be positive and know that what you are doing is ratifying a treaty.” She called the bill an “end run around the Constitution.” As her time ran out, Linsenman said, “Tribunals are bad and they will fall under this, they will fall under this program.”

Rep. Christy Perry, R-Nampa, asked Linsenman the source of her claim that a spokesman for the Uniform Law Commission boasted that this was the first time an international treaty would be put into state law. Linsenman said she’d email that.

Renea Andersen of Boise, chairman of a Grandparents as Parents support group with 87 members, said, “I am here in support of the bill because my husband and I are grandparents raising our grandchildren, and on behalf of a lot of our members in the same situation. … We are raising our grandchildren because they are missing parents, and it’s important that the parents be made to honor their commitments of child support. We prepared for retirement, but we did not prepare for the cost of raising a second family. … Our grandparents, they’re proud, and many are very reluctant to accept government programs, and so the child support is a critical lifeline.”

Bob Neugebauer, publisher of the Gem State Patriot newsletter, said, “Make no mistake about HB 1: It is not about child support, it is about extortion of our federal government. ... This bill was presented as a must-pass by the federal government without any changes in coordination with the Hague Convention treaty. … It will subjugate our state.”

Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.