Rep. Clark Kauffman, R-Filer, said Thursday that he would have supported the original version of a bill to bring Idaho in compliance with a 2007 child support treaty.
“We have over 200 of these same kind of agreements with the federal government now,” he said. “This is just an update on the one we had with them before. I didn’t see any big problems with it.”
Most of the Magic Valley lawmakers I was able to reach Wednesday expressed similar sentiments.
Congress has said that all states, including Idaho, need to pass laws to comply with the Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support this year or lose federal funding and access to federal tools to track and collect child support. The House Judiciary committee rejected the treaty on the last day of the regular session, amid concerns that it could threaten the state’s sovereignty. On Wednesday, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter announced a special session for May 18 to pass the bill.
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State Health and Welfare officials have said that losing access to the federal database and tools like wage garnishment and new hire reporting would make it very difficult to collect child support, particularly from out of state. The lost funding would impact a variety of child and social services programs.
Some of the lawmakers who opposed the original bill have been working on amendments to it. Rep. Ryan Kerby, R-New Plymouth, who was one of the nine Judiciary committee members to vote the bill down, told the Spokane Spokesman-Review’s “Eye on Boise” blog Wednesday that the amendments address their concerns.
Kauffman said he would look at the amendments and vote accordingly. He said the issue needs to be addressed.
“I think we can do right by the kids and everybody that we needed to,” he said.