Otter vetoes at 35 after House dumps gas tax hike - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Otter vetoes at 35 after House dumps gas tax hike

BOISE, Idaho. - Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter vetoed 25 budget bills, bringing his two day total to 35, after the House voted 55-15 to reject gas tax and fee increases worth about $70 million a year.

After rejecting the measure, House leaders and Otter met for an hour.

Otter then invited reporters to his third-floor Borah Post Office suite for the ceremonial bill-killing.

The Republican governor reiterated he'll keep lawmakers in Boise until they approve more money to address a projected $240 million annual road maintenance shortfall.

Otter said, "I don't know what else I can possibly do" but veto bills to get lawmakers' attention.

House Majority Caucus Chair Ken Roberts said later representatives are exhausted by the repeated votes, but remain convinced a recession is a bad time to hike taxes.

Previous Coverage

BOISE, Idaho. - House lawmakers will take up a gas tax hike and fee increases worth $70 million added by the Senate to a bill seeking to dump a tax exemption on ethanol.

The move Tuesday morning means representatives may vote on the increases later in the day.

The chamber has already rejected five gas tax proposals, drawing Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's wrath.

He vetoed 10 bills Monday, telling legislators they wouldn't adjourn without approving more money to address a projected $240 million annual road maintenance shortfall.

Otter's veto flurry prompted the Senate Monday evening to amend the ethanol bill, adding a two-year, 6 cent gas tax hike to the measure.

House Majority Caucus Chairman Ken Roberts, a Donnelly Republican, has said representatives are growing ever-less likely to support increases.

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