Legislature(1997 - 1998)

04/03/1998 09:05 AM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    HCR 25 - STEP FAMILY DAY                                   
REPRESENTATIVE FRED DYSON, sponsor of the measure, gave the                    
following testimony.  Many "blended" families are living all across            
North America: approximately 70 percent of American families fall              
under that description.  An international organization, the                    
Stepfamily Foundation, Inc., is trying to set aside a day to honor             
step families and to date, 30 countries have adopted legislation to            
do so.  The foundation publishes a newsletter, and has a web page,             
chat room, and  consulting service to provide advice for step                  
families and to exchange ideas.  HCR 25 is a simple bill and has no            
associated cost. The measure recognizes the existence of these                 
families and the particular challenges and struggles they face.                
Number 058                                                                     
SENATOR LEMAN referred to Representative Dyson's sponsor statement             
and questioned the statement that says, "...of the 83.5 million                
households in American, close to 70% of them are step families.  By            
the year 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than half             
of Americans will be living in step families versus the nuclear                
family."  He asked if that number is skewed because it takes into              
account single parent families.                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DYSON said that was correct according to the                    
international organization.                                                    
SENATOR LEMAN asked if the step family category includes single                
parent families in which one spouse died.                                      
REPRESENTATIVE DYSON said no.                                                  
SENATOR LEMAN asked if a new union would have to take place first.             
REPRESENTATIVE DYSON said that is correct, and added that those                
families always have struggles.                                                
CHAIRMAN WILKEN asked if 70 percent of American families are step              
families and half of the population is estimated to live in those              
families.  He also questioned whether including the source of those            
statistics and including a definition of what a step family is in              
line 1 of the resolution would improve it.                                     
Number 108                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE DYSON replied he will defer to the wish of the                  
committee, but he thought the resolution itself will fade into the             
background the day after it is established, and that it will not               
get much circulation.                                                          
SENATOR LEMAN moved to adopt a conceptual amendment, subject to                
slight revisor changes, beginning on line 3 as follows:                        
     "WHEREAS the Stepfamily Foundation has estimated that at least            
     half of all Americans are members or relatives of step                    
     families; and"                                                            
and to include a basic definition of a step family.                            
CHAIRMAN WILKEN announced there being no objection, the conceptual             
amendment was adopted.                                                         
Number 134                                                                     
SENATOR LEMAN moved to report HCR 25 as amended from committee.                
There being no objection, the motion carried.                                  

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