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Monday, August 10, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

‘Don’t think it has anything to do with me’

Sen. Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, said of Gov. Butch Otter’s veto of the bill to ban smoking in Idaho bowling alleys, “I don’t think it has anything to do with me.” Hill, the Senate tax chairman, was the lead Senate sponsor of the smoking bill – his name was on the bill. He also had spoken out against Otter’s proposed means-tested grocery tax credit on tax policy grounds – criticism Otter bristled about in his veto message on the bowling/smoking bill. Hill said he never used the phrase “social engineering,” but said, “I talked about we shouldn’t set social policy with tax policy. … I just felt like social policy should be set with social services.”

Hill said he respects the governor’s views. “He’s just doing what he thinks is right – I don’t question his motives,” the senator said. “I really think he’s doing what he believes in. … Knowing the way the governor feels, I think we need to honor that – I don’t want to drive any kind of wedge between the governor and the Legislature over something like this.” Hill added, “Is it in some kind of retaliation or anything? I don’t believe so. I just think that’s not the way the governor works.”

Still, he said, “Even the tobacco companies aren’t denying that second-hand smoke has very, very adverse consequences, and you go to a bowling center and there are children there.” He said, “It’s an important issue and I’m disappointed, I feel bad about it.”

Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.