Gov. Butch Otter has quietly signed dozens of bills into law without comment, including SB 1418, the public school budget for next year that contains historic cuts. Others include HB 687, imposing an emergency surcharge on every conviction for the next three years to keep the state’s courts operating through budget cuts; HB 696, the sharply reduced budget for the state parks system next year; HB 636, requiring every Idaho school district to adopt an Internet use policy for its students and file the policy with the state; HB 588, which amends state law to allow state offices to close because employees are being put on furlough without pay; and HB 604a, the measure that bans future pension-padding retirement purchases for certain state employees like the large one given the retiring state director of human resources last year.
The governor has two public signing ceremonies scheduled today: One for SB 1382a, establishing a new custodial remedy for grandparents or other relative caregivers seeking legal custody of grandchildren or relatives; and one for SB 1331a, which replaces outdated language, including such words as “retarded,” “idiot” and “lunatic,” in Idaho statutes for people with disabilities.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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