Difference between revisions of "Governor of Idaho"

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[[Category:Offices of the American governors]]
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Revision as of 17:46, 16 March 2011

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The Governor of the State of Idaho is an elected Constitutional officer, the head of the Executive branch, and the highest state office in Idaho. The Governor is popularly elected every four years by a plurality and is limited to two terms.

Current officer

The 32nd and current governor of Idaho is Republican Butch Otter, first elected in November 2006 and returned to office in 2010.

His wife, Lori Easley, is the First Lady of Idaho.


The state Constitution addresses the office of the governor in Article IV, the Executive Department.

Under Article IV, Section 5:

The supreme executive power of the state is vested in the governor, who shall see that the laws are faithfully executed.

Additionally, the Great Seal of the State of Idaho, officially kept by the Secretary of State of Idaho, may be used by the sitting Governor.


A candidate for governor is required to be:

  • at least thirty-years old
  • a United States citizen
  • a resident of Idaho at least two years prior to the election


Idaho elects governors in the midterm elections, that is, even years that are not Presidential election years. For Idaho, 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018 are all gubernatorial election years. Legally, the gubernatorial inauguration is always set for the first Monday in the January following an election. Thus, January 3, 2011 and January 5, 2015 are inaugural days.

If two candidates ever tie in the General Election, a joint session of the legislature shall cast ballots to choose the winner.

The term of office of the governor of Idaho is four years. Prior to election, each candidate must pay a filing fee of $300, which is deposited in to the general fund.


See also: How gubernatorial vacancies are filled

Details of vacancies are addressed under Article IV, Sections 12 and 14.

Under Section 12, the powers of the governor devolve to the Lieutenant Governor of Idaho at any time that the Governor is unable or unwilling to discharge the office, or has been removed from the office. In such instances, the Lieutenant Governor has all the powers and emoluments as the Governor either until the latter can resume the office or until the next gubernatorial election.

Additionally, under Section 14, if both the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor's offices are both vacant, the duties of the Executive pass first to the President Pro Tem of the Senate and next the Speaker of House of the Representatives.



The governor is responsible for upholding the Idaho Constitution, executing state law and recommending a state budget to the legislature. He is also the commander of the Idaho militia at all times when the state's military forces have not already been called into service by the federal government.

The Governor appoints people to all vacant offices, including other Constitutional offices, when the law does not otherwise provide the manner for filling a vacancy. If the Senate, whose confirmation is required, is in recess, the appointment stands until the Senate reconvenes.

During special circumstances the governor can call for special sessions of the legislature. The governor has the power to veto bills, including appropriations, but must list his objections. The legislature can override a veto by a two-thirds vote of each chamber. In Idaho the governor also serves as the President of the Board of Examiners and Chairman of the Board of Land Commissioners and appoints department heads and members of boards and commissions.

Other duties and privileges of the office include:

  • Granting pardons and reprieves when the legislatively controlled Board of Pardons is not in session, not to be permanent until the Board sits again. Regarding convictions for treason, the Governor may only stay the sentence pending legislative review.
  • Requiring reports, made under oath, from state officials and managers of state institutions, on any aspects of their jobs.
  • Making a 'State of the State' address to the General Assembly at the beginning of each session, including recommendation on prudent courses of action for the state and, somewhat unique among the constitutionally mandated aspect of such addresses, an estimate of the tax revenue the state will require for the coming year.
  • Convening extraordinary sessions of the Senate to conduct specific Executive business.
  • Authorizing and signing all commissions and grants made by the state of Idaho.


Originally, Section 19 of Article IV addresses the compensation of Executive officers, a section that has been since repealed.

As of 2010, the Governor of Idaho is paid $115,348 a year, the 39th highest gubernatorial salary in America.

Contact information

Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, Idaho 83720

See also

External links

Office of the Governor of Idaho