Idaho Legislature Adjourns, Leaves Veto Power With Gov. Brad Little

Mar 23, 2020

The Idaho legislature has officially gone home after an acrimonious session that was marked by controversial social issues. But lawmakers’ exit from Boise leaves the governor free use of his veto stamp, if he chooses.


The beginning of this year’s session kicked off with legislators having to re-authorize much of the entire book of administrative rules, like park fees and school standards, that they chose not to renew in 2019.


Attempts by a House committee to eliminate the public-school standards for English, math and science were stalled by the Senate, something they’ll have to deal with again next year.


Both chambers did pass bills that would limit transgender rights. One would ban trans girls and women from playing on sports teams that align with their gender identity and another would bar trans people from changing the sex on their birth certificates — a practice that was ruled unconstitutional by a federal court two years ago.


Each passed with a veto-proof margin in both the House and Senate. But amid escalating concerns related to the spread of coronavirus, both chambers adjourned before they had been signed by Gov. Brad Little (R).


House Speaker Scott Bedke (R-Oakley) told the Associated Press that the House would have stayed to potentially override a veto, if not for the coronavirus.


Little has a five-day period in which to either sign, veto or let a bill become law without his signature after it makes it to his desk. Little has until Tuesday to make a decision on both bills.


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