Idaho governor takes anger out on state lawmakers

News Idaho Statesman April 01, 2005
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Idaho Gov

Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne is taking matters personally when it comes to his highway construction plan.


Angry with state representatives for sitting on a $1.6 billion package to upgrade the state's infrastructure, Kempthorne grabbed eight bills from a stack of 55 and quickly stamped a "veto" on the pending legislation. After stamping the red letters on the initial pile, Kempthorne issued the following threat:


"And I've got a whole lot of other bills I can take action on. It is time for us to have cooperation on the highway bill on behalf of the citizens of Idaho," he told the Idaho Statesman.


Thursday was the 81st day of the legislative session, and Kempthorne's veto tirade will most likely push work into next week.


Idaho's House Transportation Committee met on Wednesday and rejected the governor's bill, which calls for the state to join about a dozen other states using Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles (GARVEE Bonds). The bonds are repaid with each state's share of federal highway money, which in Idaho is used to pay for road projects as it comes in. Some states limit the percentage of federal support that can be used to pay off the debt. Gov. Kempthorne's plan does not include such a limit, but the leader believes the bill is what the people of Idaho want.


"We have heard from the citizens throughout the state and they want to have safe highways," Kempthorne told the Statesman.


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