Idaho Lawmakers Challenge Validity Of Governor's Veto

Apr 12, 2017

Credit Representative Bryan Zollinger / Facebook

Tuesday, Idaho Governor Butch Otter vetoed a bill to repeal the six percent sales tax on groceries. Wednesday, two lawmakers said that veto was invalid and the repeal now becomes law.

GOP Representatives Ron Nate and Bryan Zollinger say Governor Butch Otter’s veto came too late to be valid.


The Idaho Constitution says the Governor has ten days from when the Legislature adjourns to veto a bill. Nate and Zollinger say since lawmakers went home on March 29, Otter only had until Monday to veto the bill. They argue the veto was too late to count and that means the bill becomes law.

But Idaho Public Television reports that an Idaho Supreme Court case from 1978 said a governor has ten days – from the time the bill is delivered to his, or her, office - which in this case was March 31. Otter’s office says that means it’s a valid veto.

Nate and Zollinger say they plan to take the case to the Idaho Supreme Court.

This isn’t the first time questions have come up about Otter’s veto timing. The Idaho Statesman reports two years ago, the Governor vetoed a bill to stop instant horse racing in the state. Some said Otter missed the deadline to get his veto back to the Senate. The Idaho Supreme Court agreed and said that veto was not valid.

Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

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