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Senate fails again to override governor’s veto on powers

May 4, 2021 GMT

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Republican-dominated Senate on Tuesday for the second time failed 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.

The Senate voted 21-12, falling short of the two-thirds majority needed.

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

Both bills vetoed by Little sought to give the Legislature a greater say in the handling of declared emergencies and how long restrictions associated with them could last.

Democratic Sen. Grant Burgoyne voted against the override, citing the Legislature’s problems this legislative session that is now third-longest in state history.

“If this legislative session has shown anything, it is the incapability of this Senate and the House of Representatives to handle an emergency in the manner that the executive would,” he said. “The override of this veto would constitute a clear and present danger to the people of this state.”

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.