Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter vetoed a bill that would repeal instant horse racing machines despite the state Legislature having passed the bill by overwhelming numbers. The bill, SB 1011, had been introduced by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and supported by other Idaho tribes.
Coeur d’Alene Chairman, Chief Allan, said in a news release, “ “The Governor has chosen to allow his buddies to continue their illegal instant racing casinos around the state while ignoring the Idaho Constitution. To say we’re incredibly disappointed doesn’t even begin to describe it.”
(According to the Spokesman-Review a publication that services the Northwestern states, since 2000, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe has donated at least $22,000 to Otter’s campaigns.)
The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of Idaho also issued a statement reiterating the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s concerns, “Every Supreme Court in this country that has ruled on these machines found them to be gambling slot machines prohibited by their respective constitutions. We, as voters of the state, are not pleased with the governor on how this matter is being handled,” said Chairman Nathan Small of the Fort Hall Business Council.
The Idaho Senate tried to override the governor’s veto, but couldn’t get the necessary two-thirds vote.
However, according to the Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill, the governor’s veto may not be valid, the Associated Press reported. Otter had five days to veto the bill, and did not return it within that time-frame.
Helo Hancock, the legislative director for the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, told ICTMN, “It appears there are still some serious legal questions considering the validity of the veto, and whether or not the governor complied with the constitution and the Idaho Code. So stay tuned. It doesn’t appear that it’s over.”