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First bill of the Idaho legislative session introduced

Idaho lawmakers want to clarify language inside a newly adopted constitutional amendment to ease legal concerns raised by Idaho’s top elected officials.

The first bill introduced in the legislature’s new session Tuesday would define a brief clause in the constitutional amendment that expanded the Idaho Legislature’s power. The amendment – which voters approved in November – included language allowing lawmakers to not only reject rules created by executive branch agencies, but also tweak them without the governor’s approval.

Previously, lawmakers could only approve or reject administrative rules but not amend them.

If approved, lawmakers could not reject certain words to change the meaning of a rule, but can still throw out entire sections.

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden have both warned that the constitutional amendment contains legally ambiguous wording.

The bill must now go before a legislative hearing, but it has not yet been scheduled.

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