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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Rep. Barbieri: ‘It’s all about the money’

Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, said, “I think we need to be concerned about the ramifications. … Legislative authority is being addressed. Administrative law, our tri-partite balance of power, checks and balance … and indeed state sovereignty.” He asked fellow representatives to imagine the bill as a huge papier-mache horse, with the papier-mache made out of hundred-dollar bills, out on the Statehouse steps. “Our eyes are on the money, our minds are on the children – we bring it in,” he said. “Who cares what’s inside? It’s all about the money. It’s all about the children.” Barbieri said he thinks its “interesting” that the Legislature can’t call itself back into a special session to override a governor’s veto, “but that gentleman has the power to call us back if money’s involved. … Saying no to federal money will involve pain, and that’s why we don’t do it.”

Actually, under the Idaho Constitution, the governor can call lawmakers back for a special session on any topic, not just one involving money. The Constitution, in Article IV, Section 9, says, “The governor may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the legislature by proclamation, stating the purposes for which he has convened it; but when so convened it shall have no power to legislate on any subjects other than those specified in the proclamation.”

Barbieri said international child support enforcement could be problematic, saying, for example, an order comes in from France. “Well, what if you’ve never been to France? What if there is a true error? What if the bureaucracy made an error?” he asked. He said, “The federal bureaucracy is growing by leaps and bounds because we continue to empower the administration, the bureaucrats,” which he said operates in a "constitutional vacuum." State sovereignty, he said, "is for sale, because we have our eyes on the money."

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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