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Thursday, October 22, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

First bill of the Idaho legislative session introduced, to clarify HJR 5 wording

Here’s a news item from the  Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho lawmakers want to clarify language inside a newly adopted constitutional amendment to ease legal concerns raised by Idaho's top elected officials. The first bill introduced in the legislature's new session Tuesday would define a brief clause in the constitutional amendment that expanded the Idaho Legislature's power. The amendment –which voters approved in November – included language allowing lawmakers to not only reject rules created by executive branch agencies, but also tweak them without the governor's approval. Previously, lawmakers could only approve or reject administrative rules but not amend them. If the new bill becomes law, lawmakers could not reject certain words to change the meaning of a rule, but could still throw out entire sections. Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden have both warned that the constitutional amendment contains legally ambiguous wording. The bill must now go through a legislative hearing, but it has not yet been scheduled.

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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