Apr 29 2009
In trying to evaluate the evolving end game of the Idaho Legislature, threatening to become the longest-ever next week, you’re finding more immovable objects than irresistible forces.
The Idaho House has adjourned sine die – for the year – or so its majority hopes. That hope will die after three days, since the Idaho Senate is not adjourning, yet, and seems likely not to right away. And since in Idaho neither chamber can adjourn for more than three days without the approval of the other, the Idaho House will be back for more business. Probably on Monday.
(And yes, we’ve seen this happen before. The most memorable occasion we recall, from back in the 80s, it was the Senate that tried to adjourn, and was dragged back by the House.)
For all that, we’re leaning toward the idea that the Idaho House’s take on the sticking point issue – transportation funding – is the side more likely to prevail.
Evidence for this comes from Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter’s Capitol for a Day visit to the small farm town of Midvale, the kind of conservative and traditional and Republican kind of place that ordinarily should be Otter’s kind of place. Yesterday, however, in the Idaho Statesman‘s report, “Gov. Butch Otter spent six hours Tuesday fending off accusations he’s abandoned rural Idaho and surrendered state sovereignty to the U.S. government.”
And that he wants to raise taxes all over the place.
The mood was angry, we’d guess Otter was stunned by the reaction. This really was, literally, exactly Otter’s kind of place, what should be about as friendly a piece of real estate as you’d find in Idaho for this kind of governor.
Otter is now offering compromises, one of which was rejected by the House before its attempt at adjournment. We’d guess there will be more attempts at compromise as soon as they return. And this will go on until the House majority gets something it finds acceptable.
The House is tethered into the driver’s seat.Share on Facebook