The Idaho House of Representatives had said it was going to adjourn sine die today, and by God, it was going to adjourn sine die today, even if it ends up being called back by either the Governor or the Senate, or both.
And in what appeared to be a violation of rule 18 — “The following questions shall be decided without debate: To adjourn” — both House Minority Leader Representative John Rusche, D-Lewiston, and House Assistant Majority Leader Representative Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, debated the constitutionality of the sine die adjournment, which capped a marathon session that ran until almost 9 pm.
The House passed all the bills it had on the table, including a bill by Representative Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, intended to undo amendments the Senate had imposed on an education bill, eliminating an early retirement provision for teachers. Should the Senate pass the bill, JFAC would likely need to meet again in order to draft a trailer bill to change the budget to accommodate it.
According to Bedke’s debate, if the Senate does not concur with the House’s adjournment, then the House will need to come back within three days. Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter can also call a special session, though he has indicated he does not want to do that.
A number, though apparently not a majority, of Representatives voted “nay” on a voice vote to adjourn.
Though the Senate had adjourned earlier in the day, Speaker of the House Representative Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale — the city that gave Otter a stern talking-to earlier this week for his intransigence regarding raising more money for transportation — dutifully sent out two committees of three people, two Republicans and one Democrat, to inform the Senate and the Governor that the House was prepared to adjourn. Finding both gone, the committees reported they had left a note on the Senate door, and left Otter voicemail.
Tune in tomorrow for the next episode of the soap opera.