Safe routes to school bill becomes law, without Otter’s blessing

(UPDATED, 4:07 p.m., with details on Otter’s decision.)

A new safe routes to school bill will become law — without Gov. Butch Otter’s blessing.

Otter Wednesday allowed House Bill 334 to become law without his signature.

Passed in the final hours of the 2017 session, HB 334 will allow the Idaho Transportation Department to siphon some state dollars into sidewalks, crosswalks and pedestrian islands near school zones.

Otter’s decision was consistent with his action Tuesday on a related infrastructure bill, Senate Bill 1206. Otter did not endorse — but did not veto — the omnibus legislation that will allow the state to finance up to $300 million in highway projects and shift $15 million of sales tax money into infrastructure.

“With Senate Bill 1206 becoming law without my signature, I am similarly treating this related legislation,” Otter wrote Wednesday.

Otter took final action on legislation from the 2017 session Wednesday — but even the timing of his decisions have proven controversial. On Wednesday morning, Reps. Bryan Zollinger and Ron Nate threatened legal action over Otter’s veto of a grocery tax repeal bill, saying the governor failed to meet deadlines in the state constitution.

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