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Eye On Boise

Bills become law without guv’s signature

Gov. Butch Otter has allowed four more bills to become law without his signature, after earlier taking the same action for SB 1353, the "conscience" bill for health care providers. This time, the bills in question include HB 727 and 728, both of which regard the Idaho Education Network and its funding and oversight at the state Department of Administration; HB 688, which permits state universities, in some cases, to follow their own purchasing procedures rather than the state's; and HB 492, which imposes a fee on death certificates to fund training for Idaho coroners.

Otter issued formal letters to the Legislature laying out his reasoning for withholding his signature, but still allowing the bills to become law; he hasn't vetoed any bills passed by this year's Legislature. You can read the full letters here. On the education network bills, Otter said he supported new requirements for quarterly reporting and more legislative oversight, but wanted more educators and private-sector tech people on an oversight committee. "While I am withholding my signature, I will not withhold my full support for either the process or the goals it is intended to advance," he wrote. On the purchasing bill, HB 688, Otter said he's concerned about the possibility for duplication, but is willing to see if the move will work; he noted that the bill expires after three years.  And on HB 492, the coroner training bill, Otter said he supports the training, but is concerned about imposing state-collected fees to support a county function.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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