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Idaho Lawmakers Pass Child Support Bill In One-Day Special Session

Idaho lawmakers adopted new federal rules on child support after a whirlwind 11-hour session Monday.
Jessica Robinson
/
Northwest News Network
Idaho lawmakers adopted new federal rules on child support after a whirlwind 11-hour session Monday.

It took an extra trip to Boise. But Idaho lawmakers Monday adopted new federal rules on child support after a whirlwind 11-hour session.

All 50 states are expected to sign on to the rules. They establish standards for handling child support orders that involve parents in different states -- as well as different countries.

And there was the rub for the most conservative Idaho lawmakers. They worried foreign courts would override the rights of Idahoans.

And on top of that, if Idaho didn’t pass the bill, the federal government said it would cut off certain federal funding.

“I don’t like it when I’m told, 'you need to make a decision because there’s a gun put to your head,’” said Republican Rep. Heather Scott, one of the original lawmakers who helped kill the bill in the regular session.

But in the Senate, Republican Brent Hill held up a copy of the international treaty.

“This is not an evil document. It really isn’t. I could read it in church and feel good when I sat down,” he said. “It gives us some protections in here.”

Supporters of the bill say Idaho courts will be able to reject orders that didn’t allow for due process.

Copyright 2015 Northwest News Network

Jessica Robinson
Jessica Robinson reported for four years from the Northwest News Network's bureau in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho as the network's Inland Northwest Correspondent. From the politics of wolves to mining regulation to small town gay rights movements, Jessica covered the economic, demographic and environmental trends that have shaped places east of the Cascades. Jessica left the Northwest News Network in 2015 for a move to Norway.