Idaho already had more than 70 options for special license plates, from breast cancer awareness to snow skier to Pearl Harbor survivor. Now it’s got four more, as Gov. Butch Otter signed a bill into law today creating a “Gold Star Family” license plate for families who’ve lost a member in combat. “I’m not going to pick on any one of ‘em, but if there was ever an appropriate specialty license plate, this is it,” Otter said after he signed the bill. He said since he’s been governor, he’s spoken at 18 or 19 funerals of Idaho troops. “Most all were lost in either Afghanistan or Iraq,” he said.
An array of veterans, their families, and representatives of veterans’ organizations turned out for Monday’s bill-signing, but they’re not the only ones celebrating a new special license plate. This year’s Idaho Legislature also approved three others: One for Idaho Freemasons, or Shriners; one backing education for youngsters about earth science and lapidary, which refers to the art of cutting gem stones; and one to recognize commercial innovation. Meanwhile, legislation to sharply limit new specialty plate programs passed the Senate, but died in the House without a vote. You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.