Idaho Officials: 'Human Crisis,' 'Unintended Consequences' In Child Support Debacle

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Calling the recent debacle surrounding the failure of the Idaho Legislature to align Idaho with federal child support standards as a "human tragedy," Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Director Dick Armstrong confirmed Thursday morning that more than 150,000 letters would be sent to Idaho households that receive child support payments.

In effect, the letters warn that Idaho is at risk of not being able to collect and/or process non-voluntary child support.

Idaho has received a 60-day notice from federal officials, warning that the state needs to cure its child support enforcement problem, caused by a Idaho House committee's vote to kill a measure that would have brought Idaho in line with federal standards.

In a prepared statement on Thursday, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter said there was still "unfinished business," indicating that he was laying the groundwork to call a special session of the Legislature to deal with the outstanding crisis. Otter confirmed that Idaho has until June 12 or June 14 to come up with a solution, "otherwise we're going to suffer the unintended consequences."