Little vetoes his first bill of 2020

For the first time this year, Gov. Brad Little has broken out the veto stamp.

On Tuesday, Little vetoed House Bill 325, which would have earmarked additional sales tax revenues for road projects.

“Due to the uncertainty in the coming fiscal year and the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, I am vetoing this legislation because it results in a fiscal impact to Idaho’s general fund,” Little said in his veto message to House Speaker Scott Bedke.

The state now siphons 1 percent of its sales tax revenues into its Transportation Expansion and Congestion Program. HB 325 would have increased that diversion to 2 percent — about an $18 million shift.

That shift would have moved additional money out of the state’s general fund budget, which pays for public schools, higher education and most other state programs.

Since the Legislature adjourned Friday, lawmakers cannot attempt to override Little’s veto. HB 325 had passed both houses with two-thirds majorities — the threshold that would have been sufficient to override a veto.

With the Legislature out of town, Little gets the final word on dozens of pieces of legislation, including House Bill 500, the controversial bill to ban transgender women and girls from women’s and girls’ sports. Little has more than 70 bills on his desk; he must act on them all by Tuesday evening.


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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