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Gov. Little reverses McGeachin's executive order while still in Texas

Idaho governor Brad Little speaks at a podium with a face mask under his chin

Gov. Brad Little repealed an executive order from the state’s lieutenant governor while he was on official business outside of Idaho Wednesday.

The Idaho Constitution transfers power to the lieutenant governor when the state’s top elected official is absent.

So, on Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin issued her own executive order as acting governor to ban vaccine and testing mandates for state agencies and public schools while Little was in Texas.

He repealed her executive order Wednesday afternoon while still in the Lone Star State, which raises constitutional issues.

Little wrote that the founders of the Idaho Constitution didn’t permit a lieutenant governor to “subvert or supplant the policies of an otherwise capable, qualified or elected governor.”

This is the second time McGeachin has issued an executive order while filling in as acting governor. In May, she banned public schools from implementing mask mandates.

The two politicians, who run separately, have had a fractious relationship since both were elected to their positions in 2018.

Last spring, the two didn’t speak for weeks, according to Little. McGeachin has publicly supported businesses who flouted his 2020 reopening plan and heavily criticized his handling of the pandemic.

The attorney general’s office declined to comment on the governor’s actions and whether repealing McGeachin’s order while still in Texas is constitutional..

Neither Little’s office, nor McGeachin’s immediately returned requests for comment.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

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I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season.

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