Otter opposes rules amendment

Calling it “a solution in search of a problem,” Gov. Butch Otter came out against a constitutional amendment on the state’s rulemaking process.

House Joint Resolution 5, if passed, would ensure the Legislature’s traditional role in reviewing, and sometimes rejecting, state agency rules. The Legislature’s actions on rules would be exempt from gubernatorial veto.

“Does anyone want a single branch of government writing the laws and developing the rules for how those laws are implemented with no check on its authority?” Otter wrote in a guest opinion Wednesday. “If not, I encourage you to join me in voting no on HJR 5 on Nov. 8.”

Otter had no vote on the amendment this year, when it sailed through both houses. Governors do not have a say in constitutional amendments. But like all Idahoans, Otter will get the chance to vote on the amendment on Election Day. It will need a simple majority to pass.

With his guest opinion, Otter aligns with Attorney General Lawrence Wasden in opposition to HJR 5. The amendment has bipartisan backing from legislative leaders, and support from a host of lobbying groups.

Click here for our in-depth coverage of the debate over HJR 5 — and why it could have important implications for K-12.