Committee Kerfuffle…

Earlier today, in the Children and Family Affaris Committee there was a bit of a dust up between two Democratic legislators, G.A. Hardaway of Memphis and Johnny Shaw of Bolivar.

The discussion was about HB0005 sponsored by Hardaway.

To view the exchange click here and select HB0005 from the menu.

At 47:05, Shaw asks Hardaway to explain what the bill does. Hardaway doesn’t ever really directly answer the question (a summary for the bill can be found here). The bill would essentially set a date certain for the termination of Child support based on graduation date or 18th birthday.

At 49:36 Sherry Jones (D-Nashville) then asked for more information about how the Child Support termination process would be affected under the bill. Her concern was grounded in who has the responsibility to file paperwork to continue child support after the date certain passed.

Steve Cobb, Tennessee Bar Assn. talked about some of the issues and agreed with Rep. Jones’ concerns that the burden shifted from the parent paying child support to the parent receiving the support.

52:23 – Natalie Essex from DHS talked about the amendment, and a change in the burden of who had to file. During the request for the extension, child support payments would allow for ongoing payments, though there was some confusion about this in the hearing.

55:12 – Representative Mike Bell (R-Riceville) moved the question, but then withdrew, “because he can count”.

55:40 – Representative Shaw asked Hardaway if this is a bill that helps him personally. This is where the dustup occurred.

From there, at 56:35 Representative Donna Rowland (R-Murfreesboro) asks some more questions about the bill, which stumped Hardaway.

The bill was rolled for one week, to give Hardaway time to answer questions about the unintended consequences of his bill.

Hardaway has filed several bills seeking to change the way the child support system works in the state over the years. He is one of the prime co-sponsors of the Mandatory Joint Custody bill, something we covered in early February. In March of 2008, in response to a series of emails I received, I wrote at vibinc about a bill sponsored by Hardaway that would require paternity testing of all children born in Tennessee before the father’s name could be included on the birth certificate.




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