Otter denies two bills, including legislation to help control wolf populations
By Josh Altic
Boise, Idaho: Butch Otter exercised his veto power only twice so far during 2013. The first bill he chose to reject sought to divert $100,000 from the regular Fish and Game funding to a program aiming to control the wolf population in Idaho. The second law the governor withheld his signature from would shift power form county prosecutes to the Idaho Attorney General.
The bill seeking to fund the control of the wolf population was passed in the House in a 45-23 vote and in the Senate in a 26-8 vote. According to supporters of the legislation, it would replace funds that were reduced through federal budget cuts and allow for the management of excessive numbers of wolves that hunted livestock and other wildlife. This bill was opposed by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission, which argued that the money taken for this program would leave other already under-funded programs lacking. Otter, in defense of his veto, wrote about the lack of input by Fish and Game and sportsmen across the state and focused on the importance of cooperation and a long-term solution. He argued that the law could make "a cooperative, long-term solution to wolf depredation costs more difficult to achieve. It is important ... that discussions with affected parties be held in earnest so that problems can be solved - not created."
The other bill vetoed by the governor took from county prosecutors the authority to investigate their own county commissioners, transferring that power to the attorney general.
- Governor vetoes bill to help fund predator control efforts
- Otter vetoes bill to divert funds to wolf control
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