Gov. Butch Otter hasn’t yet made any public announcement about his action Saturday on SB 1011, the bill to repeal instant racing in Idaho, but the word in the Statehouse is that he has vetoed the measure. Jon Hanian, Otter’s press secretary, said, “He took action on it within the time frame. We just haven’t announced it yet.” He said Otter will announce his action by issuing the formal notice and posting it on his website, likely shortly after the House and Senate convene at 1:30 p.m. today. Hanian said Otter wanted to inform legislative leaders personally before making the announcement. “I can’t confirm or deny anything until that process is done,” he said.
Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, the Senate sponsor of the bill, said a few minutes ago that he had no comment. Asked if the Senate would vote on a veto override if the governor were to veto the bill – which passed both houses with more than the two-thirds majority required to override a veto – Hill said, “I would – I’d vote to override. I don’t know what the caucus will do.” He said, “We’ll be having a caucus meeting today on a number of issues. If he vetoes that bill, that’d be one of the issues we’d address.” Today’s Senate GOP caucus hasn’t yet been scheduled, but Hill said it likely would come shortly after the Senate convenes this afternoon.
House Speaker Scott Bedke said he had no comment this morning. Asked if the House would have an override vote in the event of a veto, he said, “It’s a Senate bill. We would be forced to if the Senate does.”