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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Otter vetoes instant racing repeal, but legal questions dog veto

Here’s a link to my full story at, on how Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has vetoed legislation to repeal authorization for “instant racing” gambling machines in Idaho, but senators, while failing to override the veto, noted pointedly that the veto likely was illegal. The reason: Otter had five days to veto the bill and return it to the Senate. He vetoed it on Friday afternoon; the deadline was Saturday at 4:54 p.m. But he kept the news of his decision secret until Monday, and didn’t return the vetoed bill to the Senate until Monday morning.

Both the Idaho Constitution and state law “says it has to be returned to the Senate within five days,” Senate Minority Caucus Chair Grant Burgoyne, D-Boise, an attorney, said Monday. “Five days was Saturday. It was returned today. It’s law.” Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, also an attorney, said, “The Senate just felt like it wanted to speak to the merits of the override. We’ll let our friends in black robes and courthouses sort through” the legal questions about the veto.

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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