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Idaho Politics

House overrides Idaho governor’s veto on emergency powers

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The Republican-dominated House on Wednesday voted to override GOP Gov. Brad Little's veto of a measure seeking to curb a governor's power to respond to emergencies like the coronavirus pandemic.

Lawmakers voted 48-19 to attain the two-thirds threshold needed to override the veto and send the measure to the Senate.

Its fate in the Senate is uncertain as lawmakers there on Monday opted not to override a veto of similar legislation to curb a governor's emergency powers.

Supporters of the measures said the governor has too much power during emergencies. Opponents said the Legislature shouldn't have emergency authority because it would be too slow to act during a time of crisis.

The coronavirus pandemic spurred the legislation, with lawmakers in Idaho and several other states taking aim at rules intended to stem the spread of the virus, like limiting gatherings and nonessential travel.

Idaho lawmakers were especially incensed that Little imposed a statewide stay-at-home order last spring that classified some workers as nonessential to try to reduce infections and deaths as hospital systems neared collapse.

About 185,000 Idaho residents have been infected with the virus, and more than 2,000 have died.

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Associated Press

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