How to stifle those vexing vetoes

Print Article

Gov. Butch Otter had his veto gun locked and loaded.

The post-blast carnage left more than a few reams of paper blown to smithereens.

Among the good legislation our governor banished to bill hell was a civil asset forfeiture measure that had received strong bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, as well as a powerful endorsement from the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. How often do Idaho Democrats and Republicans overwhelmingly agree on a bill targeting the constitutionality of certain activities and earn an ACLU hug along the way? So rarely, apparently, that Gov. Otter panicked and blew this one up.

While we think he made one of the worst decisions of his gubernatorial tenure, that’s not really the point of this editorial. The point is, what can Idahoans do to prevent a governor, any governor, from shooting down popular legislation — grocery tax repeal, anyone? — that receives staunch support from their citizen legislators?

Last Friday and Saturday in The Press, a proposal by Sen. Steve Vick was outlined. But another Steve — Press reporter and columnist Steve Cameron — might have come up with something even better.

Vick wants to amend the Idaho Constitution to give lawmakers a way to reassemble and override a governor’s veto or vetoes. Now, only the governor can call the Legislature back into special sessions, which is a pretty neat trick if you want to kill legislation after the session is already over.

Cameron’s suggestion, which came from his column one week ago:

Perhaps a law could be passed stating no governor can veto a bill that has passed with a two-thirds majority or better in both chambers — unless the Legislature is in session.

Such a statute would eliminate, say, a veto of the asset forfeiture bill that passed unanimously — which was ridiculous on the face of it.

“I really like that idea,” (State Sen. Mary) Souza said. “The best part is that it would be automatic. No governor could take political revenge for an override, and taxpayers would be saved the money of calling the Legislature back into session.”

We now have eight months to give this some thought and fashion a rational bill for consideration during the 2018 session.

Here’s hoping Kootenai County legislators will lead the way.

Print Article

Read More Editorial

Striking gold for good of all

August 16, 2017 at 10:45 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Come together. Invoking a song title from Beatles lore might feel like an awkward fit here, but we think it’s appropriate today when Hecla and union officials meet. For the past five months, miners...

Comments

Read More

Here’s how wrong this committee has gone

August 13, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press The Economist took a deep look at North Idaho’s Redoubt movement, fueled by “political refugees,” one year ago in a piece called “The last big frontier.” That was followed three weeks later by The W...

Comments

Read More

Swan song for an opera heroine

August 11, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Marlo Faulkner put several thousand dollars in the JACC account and smiles on 150 faces Monday night. And then she said goodbye. Faulkner, patron saint of local opera and a fighter for the arts...

Comments

Read More

Thanks for the big reminder, guys

August 09, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press There’s smoke in the air. Too many Washington license plates. Too damn hot. Little stuff. Cancer kills Doug Magnuson, age 60. Cancer kills Todd Hudson, age 53. Big stuff. We’ve got too little ...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2017 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X