Ybarra noncommittal on special session

State superintendent Sherri Ybarra is not saying whether she supports a special legislative session to resolve Idaho’s child-support crisis.

The 2015 Legislature adjourned hours after a House committee tabled Senate Bill 1067 — a bill to bring Idaho’s child support enforcement system in line with a 2007 international treaty.

Sherri Ybarra
Sherri Ybarra

The failure to pass the bill jeopardizes about $50 million in federal funding and 100 jobs. Perhaps more importantly, the decision jeopardizes the state’s ability to use several federal tools to collect child support payments, undermining the state’s enforcement of some 155,000 active child support cases.

The last-minute vote has triggered widespread speculation that Gov. Butch Otter will call a special legislative session to address the issue later this spring. During an April 16 news conference, Otter did not commit to convening a special session.

Idaho Education News asked Ybarra if she is advocating for a special session. Her prepared statement was noncommittal. Here’s the statement, in full:

“There are many capable individuals in the Idaho Legislature, in the attorney general’s office as well as other agencies that are currently working to find a solution on this issue. It is my role as the superintendent of public instruction to be an advocate for children, teachers, administrators and others that are directly meeting the needs of all students entering their schools, regardless of the situations that they may be facing.”

More reading: The latest on the child support issue from Melissa Davlin of “Idaho Reports.”

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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