While it’s overshadowed by the coronavirus crisis, Gov. Brad Little has another job to do this week.
He has to act on the final few pieces of legislation from the 2020 session. As of Monday morning, Little has 15 bills still on his desk. He has three options: signing a bill into law, vetoing a bill or allowing it to become law without his signature.
Little’s deadline is Tuesday at 6:33 p.m. Governors get 10 business days, not counting Sundays, to finish reviewing bills, and the Senate adjourned at 6:33 p.m. on March 19.
One controversial education-relation bill is still on Little’s desk: House Bill 500, which would ban transgender girls and women from participating in girls’ and women’s sports. Citing an opinion from Attorney General Lawrence Wasden’s office, opponents have raised several legal concerns about HB 500. Five former attorneys general — four Republicans and a Democrat — have urged Little to heed Wasden’s advice and veto the bill.
Other noteworthy bills on Little’s desk:
- House Bill 509, which would ban transgender Idahoans from changing the gender marker on their birth certificate. This bill defies a federal court order on the issue.
- House Bill 440, which would roll back affirmative action protections.
- House Bill 601, which would carve out public records exemptions for legislators.
Because the Legislature has adjourned for the year, lawmakers cannot attempt to override a veto. This gives Little the last word on these last bills. Little has already vetoed three bills this session.