Child-support bill approved
SPRINGFIELD — A measure that would allow an Edgar County man to stop paying child support for a teenager who isn't his was approved 52-0 by the Illinois Senate.
The measure, SB 1867, was sponsored by Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, and was introduced to aid Brad Entrican, a Paris man who earlier told a Senate committee that he has been paying child support for years but didn't learn until after DNA testing in 2011 that he was not the father of the boy, who is now 13. Attempts to resolve the case through administrative procedures and in the courts failed because Entrican had not filed his petition within the two-year statute of limitations.
The legislation allows a man to continue to challenge a finding of paternity after the statute of limitations has been filed when there is DNA evidence supporting him.
Rose said the legislation would affect "a small group of people" in Illinois.
Entrican had said earlier this year that he didn't challenge the paternity until the summer of 2011, after meeting the boy for the first time. He had failed to appear for a scheduled genetic testing in 2001 because at the time, he had no reason to doubt he was the boy's father.
In Entrican's case, if the bill becomes law, he will have to take another DNA test to prove that he is not the father of the young man.
The legislation created some controversy when it was first considered by a Senate committee in early March, but it sailed through the full Senate on Wednesday without any debate or a single "no" vote.
"In the immortal words of (former state Rep.) Bill Black, when you let this process work, it works very well, and you get to unanimous or near-unanimous roll calls," Rose said. "But when you jam something through, it never works well."