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No vetoes from Otter this year

No vetoes from Otter this year

Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
April 14, 2010
Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
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April 14, 2010

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter did not pull out his veto pen to reject legislation from lawmakers this year.  He accepted all 359 measures from the Legislature.  It’s the first time since 2006 that a governor hasn’t used a veto to reject legislation approved by the Idaho House and Senate, and only the second full legislative session since 1959 that hasn’t seen a veto.

The governor approved most of the legislation with his signature, but let four plans become law without signing off on them.  Two of the newly-approved laws are connected to the next budget for the Department of Administration, which includes the next round of funding for the Idaho Education Network (IEN).  In a letter to lawmakers explaining his decision not to sign those pieces of legislation, Otter said he wanted more educators and private sector representatives on IPRAC, the panel overseeing IEN.  Lawmakers restructured IPRAC to give more authority over IEN to the superintendent of public instruction and lawmakers, rather than the head of the Department of Administration.

Otter also allowed a $1 fee increase on death certificates to become law despite his concern that it could lead to similar fee hikes for other vital records and certificates.  The director of the Idaho Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics, which manages birth and death certificates, raised similar objections during a hearing on the plan in the Idaho Senate in March.

The governor also allowed a plan to give more purchasing authority to some public universities and colleges without signing it into law.  Boise State University President Bob Kustra hailed that proposal for providing needed flexibility to higher education when state funding is being reduced.

Besides approving all parts of lawmakers’ taxing and spending plan for the next 15 months, the governor also approved legislation that would shield hunters’ names from public records requests, require voters to present ID at polling places, criminalize hoax bomb threats, change the age of consent in cases of statutory rape, require schools to post financial data online, and change the pay for the governor and other statewide elected officials.

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