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Saturday, October 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

‘Philosophically torn’ Otter allows minimum-wage pre-emption bill to become law without his signature

Gov. Butch Otter has allowed HB 463, the minimum wage pre-emption bill, to become law without his signature, saying he was “philosophically torn” over the issue.

“Self-determination and local control – like independence and self-reliance – are Idaho values,” Otter wrote in a letter to House Speaker Scottt Bedke. “I understand that cities and counties are political subdivisions subject to oversight and regulation by the State. But I also know that the State of Idaho objects strenuously when the federal government oversteps its authority. So I expect local jurisdictions to feel similarly when legislators decide overwhelmingly that they must not allow local voters to decide for themselves whether to raise the minimum wage.”

Otter said while he personally opposes the minimum wage entirely, he can see how the bill could “stifle local solutions.” And noting that no Idaho city or county has raised the minimum wage locally, he said, “I consider this bill to be a solution in search of a problem.”

“Yet the Legislature made its voice heard,” he wrote, “and at the end of the day I understand its intentions. So I submit this letter in recognition of the law of unintended consequences and to respectfully remind legislators of their own reactions when our absentee federal landlords impose restrictions on us.”

You can read his full letter here.

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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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