Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter announced another veto, his fifth of the 2007 Legislature, saying a bill to boost state employee benefits violated Idaho’s policy of concentrating on boosting wages.
The bill would have increased the formula limiting unused sick leave that could be transferred to a state employee’s retirement account to pay for insurance premiums to 480 hours, from 420 hours. The plan would have cost nearly $400,000.
Otter killed it, arguing the state should be directing its attention to boosting wages, not the benefits package for state employees.
“Since state employee benefits approximate those of the average competitor while state employee pay is 15.6 percent behind the market, our focus should be on increasing state salaries and narrowing the gap rather than incrementally increasing benefits and widening the gap,” the governor wrote in his veto message.
Otter has also vetoed a $32 million plan to boost the grocery tax credit; a ban on smoking in bowling alleys; a bill to require insurance companies to offer underinsured motorist coverage; and a bill to allow tax-seizure notices to be sent via first-class mail, instead of certified mail.
The benefits bill cleared the Senate 31-0 and the House 60-9.
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