[Vision2020] Otter says vote "No" on HJR5

Ron Force ronforce at gmail.com
Thu Oct 27 10:51:38 PDT 2016


WEDNESDAY, OCT. 26, 2016, 5:08 P.M.Otter points to major problem in HJR 5,
urges ‘no’ vote

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Idaho Gov. Butch Otter is urging a “no” vote on HJR 5, the constitutional
amendment on the November ballot, and he’s added a new twist to the debate:
Otter says a clause in the amendment that says “in whole or in part”
actually would vastly expand the Legislature’s current power to review
administrative rules, rather than simply writing that current power into
the state Constitution.

“I’d call it unnecessary but its potential consequences are more serious
than that implies,” Otter writes in a guest opinion; you can read the full
piece here

Under current law, lawmakers review administrative rules at the start of
their legislative session each year, and either approve or reject them.

“But HJR 5 would go further,” Otter writes, “embedding in the Idaho
Constitution a legislative practice that can be found nowhere in existing
law. The amendment would give lawmakers additional authority to reject
rules ‘in whole or in part’ – essentially creating a lawmaking process in
which the governor is constitutionally barred from vetoing the result. For
example, the governor could do nothing if the Legislature unilaterally
altered the basic intent of an agency’s rule simply by changing its
language ‘in part’ from ‘the department shall not’ to ‘the department
shall’ take a particular action.”

That same “in whole or in part” language appeared in the 2014 version of
the constitutional amendment, HJR 2, which Idaho voters rejected; it went
unremarked on at the time.

The Idaho Administrative Procedure Act lays out in detail how agency rules
are enacted, including the legislative review process that’s detailed
in Section
67-5291 of Idaho Code
There’s no mention in the current law of “in whole or in part.”

Otter writes, “Continuous bickering and name calling at the top of the
ticket in this election year are understandably creating a lot of anxiety
among voters. So there’s no need for anyone to add to that angst by
frightening folks about the Idaho Legislature having too little authority
to protect them from government bureaucrats run amok. Yet that is precisely
what advocates of HJR 5 on the Nov. 8th ballot are doing. They should get
no more support in their effort this year than they did two years ago when
Idaho voters rejected the same idea.”
POSTED OCT. 26, 2016, 5:08 P.M.

Ron Force
Moscow Idaho USA
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