Gov. Butch Otter has just vetoed HB 121, the bill to ban smoking in Idaho bowling alleys. “Given legislative concerns about ‘social engineering,’ particularly in regard to my proposal for targeted expansion of the grocery tax credit, in the interest of consistency it seems reasonable to conclude that such concern would extend to this legislation as well,” Otter wrote in his veto message. “Social engineering by government should be of special concern when it also involves the private property rights of our citizens. H 121 imposes an unreasonable burden on private property rights as well as legitimate and lawful business activities.”
Idaho three years ago banned smoking in restaurants and most other public places where children under age 21 are allowed; only bowling alleys were left out. Student bowlers from throughout southern Idaho came to the Legislature this year to testify in favor of the bill, saying they shouldn’t have to endure a smoky environment to bowl.