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Oregon SB 73, Repeal ORS 107.108

Twitter, #childsupport

Support proposed Oregon Senate Bill 73. The proposed bill repeals ORS 107.108, which authorizes payment of support for an adult child attending school and limits obligation to pay child support to children under 18 years of age or, if the child is still in high school, 19 years of age or less.

ORS 107.108, in Oregon’s own words in Crocker v Crocker, “…is not a perfect remedy for the problem”, the existing statute is based on assumptions, and it is used “to advance the state’s interests.”  Multnomah County Judge Kirschner opines, “ORS 107.108 violates the equal protection clauses of both Oregon and United States constitutions.”  Becky Kiely, writing in Second Wives Café, reflects “This is a case of one class of citizens being burdened with circumstances that are not imposed on another.”

Two years ago, Betsy Johnson submitted SB 341 which is precisely the same bill as SB 73.  Unfortunately, that bill was never brought to the floor by the Senate’s Judicial Committee.  In fact, no response came from that committee after multiple letters and email from this author and multiple other supporters.  This kind of response begs the question of why that bill was ignored.  Child support is big revenue for the State of Oregon.  According to Kate Cooper Richardson, director of Oregon’s child support program, child support “return(s) funds to the state treasury.”  In his paper, “Child Support Harming Children“, Daniel Hatcher writes, “This system of welfare cost recovery is a side of child support that is largely unknown to the public. Rather, child support is generally perceived as a pure good: a benefit to children, families, and society, as well as a moral and legal obligation of absent parents. But for the millions of children whose child support has been assigned to the government, the reality of child support is anything but pure or good.”

Non-custodial parents, typically the obligors of child support judgements, are subject to prejudice and stereotyping from the State and Federal governments in that non-custodial parents paychecks are automatically garnished regardless in the State of Oregon of prompt payments.  Additionally, this group can be required to support children after the age of 18 through child support whereas married parents are not.  Our own Attorney General wants to “go after deadbeat dads” and child support obligors without the ability to pay.  These parents are known in the child support industry as “turnips.”  Non-custodial parents are a stigmatized minority, outnumbered politically, the target of long-standing and continuing invidious legal discrimination, and thereby subject to intermediate scrutiny.

Please support OR SB 73 by writing your support Oregon’s Senate Judiciary Committee and Senator Betsy Johnson.

Ginny Burdick, President Pro Tempore

Sara Gelser, Committee Member

Jeff Kruse, Vice Chair

Floyd Prozanski, Chair

Kim Thatcher, Committee Member

Betsy Johnson, SB Sponsor