More On that $15M fund

Otter's clarification


Our story in this week’s paper, about the $15 million fund that Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter now controls, apparently perked some ears in state government. After telling us Friday that Otter had signed the bill creating the open-ended fund, his office now tells us he let the bill become law without his signature.

That’s a bit of a hair-split, but Otter went a small step further, and wrote a cautionary note with his non-signature.

The fund is controlled by Otter, House Speaker Lawerence Denney, Senate President Bob Geddes, House Appropriations Chairwoman Maxine Bell, and Senate Finance Chairman Dean Cameron, all Republicans. The language about the fund’s use is extremely vague—it is tentatively supposed to be used to “maintain the economic stability of the state or the delivery of necessary state services.”

The small group controlling the money concerned the Idaho Attorney General’s Office. In his note, Otter now says he shares the AG’s concerns.

“While I support this legislation’s safeguard for Idaho’s rural, resource-dependent communities against federal government neglect, I refuse to be an active party to the Legislature’s usurpation of executive authority,” Otter wrote.