A bill that would have allowed Idaho authorities to monitor and track child support payments was killed in committee on Friday after Republican lawmakers warned it could compel the state to observe Sharia law, reports the Boise Weekly.
Senate Bill 1067 would have allowed Idaho officials to use the federal government’s existing system to provide enforcement after tracking down deadbeat parents.
Because the federal system is tied to the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, which includes agreements with the Hague Convention on International Recovery of Child Support and Family Maintenance agreed to by Muslim-majority countries such as Bosnia and Albania, Idaho lawmakers fear the influence of creeping Sharia law.
“There is no specific language in the bill that would protect the rights of those dealing with parentage, child support and support orders from a foreign country that would contradict our laws here, ” said Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll (R). “There are other countries listed in the treaty—France, Belgium— that have recognized Sharia courts as quasi-courts. So I just feel that you should be aware of those facts.”
With other Republicans agreeing, including Rep. Kathy Sims (R) who said, “We don’t need to invite foreign law in Idaho,” the House Judiciary and Rules Committee shot the bill down.
Beyond the ability of the state to step up tracking and enforcement of child support payments, failure to pass the the bill will cost the state more than $16 million in federal funds, with an additional $30 million possibly lost to the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, according to Idaho Reports.
Supporters of the bill pushed for passage, warning failure to do so would make Idaho a magnet for people wishing to avoid paying child support.
This is not the first bill in Idaho to spark legislative fears of impending Sharia law.
In February, lawmakers narrowly passed a “parental rights” bill despite warnings from Republicans that it would allow parents to demand their child be taught in public school to follow Sharia law.