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North Idaho Parent: "I've Got My Fingers Crossed"

The Idaho Legislature meets in a special session today to consider a bill that would bring Idaho into compliance on child-support enforcement standards. Credit: Deborah C. Smith.
The Idaho Legislature meets in a special session today to consider a bill that would bring Idaho into compliance on child-support enforcement standards. Credit: Deborah C. Smith.
May 18, 2015

BOISE, Idaho - A North Idaho mom says she has her fingers crossed today, as the Idaho Legislature meets in a special session to consider a bill that would bring Idaho into compliance on child-support enforcement standards.

It's legislation that affects nearly one in four Idaho kids, according to Idaho Voices for Children. Leslie Griffith in Bonners Ferry says her ex-husband in Canada has already put her on notice that he's going to be resistant to making child-support payments.

"Because of where he works and where he lives," says Griffith. "He can't go outside of Idaho borders to collect it, then that's going to be an issue."

The compliance bill has to be signed by July 1, 2015 or Idaho loses access to federal tools to collect support, as well as $16 million in federal funding for the program, and another $30 million for children's programs.

Idaho Voices for Children estimates that more than $200 million a year is paid in child support and the group warns that without those payments to mothers and fathers, many are likely to turn to public assistance. Griffith says it should be a simple issue.

"It would be beneficial to the state as a whole and to the parents that are already having problems with this issue," says Griffith.

A compliance bill got stalled in the House Judiciary and Rules Committee at the close of the 2015 session.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - ID