House Speaker Scott Bedke said today that the reason he pushed to send the governor’s health care bill back to committee again rather than have a full House debate and vote on it was because he was taking “the long view, and there weren’t the votes to pass it.”
Asked what message the House sent when it opted – with a gallery full of high school students – against holding a vote that would put House members on the record on a major issue shortly before a primary election, Bedke said, “The message was clear: It’s not soup yet. There’s not support for it.”
“Some would claim it to be for the good of the issue, long-term,” he said. “Others would say it’s just all political maneuvering.”
The very fact that the issue has confronted Idaho lawmakers for six straight years with no action, he said, “means there wasn’t agreement.”
“The issue stays alive better for what happened today,” Bedke said.
The move came as Idaho lawmakers are pushing hard to adjourn this year’s legislative session by this Friday. Due to an Idaho Supreme Court decision last year, that would mean not only that they vote on all pending bills, but also wait until those bills that have passed are transmitted to the governor, a process that can take two days or more. “I believe we will have all the bills delivered to the governor’s office by close of business on Friday, as per the Supreme Court directives,” Bedke said. “I think we’re there.”
He said he thinks the House will be “pretty close to being done today with the bills, but it’s going to take time to enroll,” a process in which clerks verify that the bill, votes and other details are accurate and in accordance with the official journals.