A grim Rep. John Rusche, his voice nearly gone, with the new version of the child support enforcement bill that he wasn't allowed to introduce on Friday; per House rules, the new version he prepared was one word different from the rejected one, so that it wasn't identical. (Betsy Russell)
Rep. John Rusche, D-Lewiston, moved to call the child support enforcement bill, SB 1067, from the House Judiciary & Rules Committee, where it was tabled earlier today on a 9-8 vote. Committee Chairman Rich Wills opposed the motion. “We had two days of testimony … to answer everybody’s questions that was on the committee,” he told the House. Rusche said, “This is a bill of immense, immense consequences to the state of Idaho, to the state but mostly to the children of the state of Idaho, those that depend on child support payments for keeping body and soul together.” His voice cracking with fatigue, Rusche told the House, “This bill is required so that we can participate in the federal child support system. Without that participation, it will be very difficult, maybe impossible, to collect the over $200 million in child support payments that our Health & Welfare Department collects and dispenses. The vote in the Judiciary & Rules Committee was only by 1, it was a 9-8 vote. It was on the last day of the session, and Mr. Speaker, I believe that such a monumental decision with such potentially dire consequences for the families of Idaho deserves an up or down vote of this body, and not simply by the Jud & Rules Committee.” More here.