The deadline Gov. Brad Little has given himself for possibly vetoing two anti-transgender bills sent to him by the Legislature is March 31, his office said Tuesday.
One of the bills bans transgender people from changing the sex listed on their birth certificates despite a federal court ruling a previous Idaho ban was unconstitutional, and that the Idaho attorney general’s office said could end up costing the state $1 million if it goes to court again.
The other bill bans transgender women from competing in women’s sports despite also getting warnings that such a law is unconstitutional. The measure would apply to all sports teams sponsored by public schools, colleges and universities.
Little hasn’t indicated his intentions.
The Republican governor’s deadline is 10 days from final adjournment, not counting Sundays. His office said he’s using the time and date the Senate called it quits on Thursday evening. The House followed suit the next morning.
The legalities involving those two potential deadlines aren’t clear, so Little is using the earlier date to play it safe, said his spokeswoman, Marissa Hyer.
Both the anti-transgender bills had overwhelming support among Republicans in the House and Senate in numbers great enough to override a veto.
Had the House and Senate stayed in session, Little would have had a five-day deadline to make a decision. Now he has 10 days, and because the Legislature voted to end the session, lawmakers are powerless to return and override any vetoes.
Little also hasn’t yet taken action on a bill that bans affirmative action and another that makes most abortions in Idaho illegal should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing the procedure.
Hyer said Little has been busy dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and on Tuesday signing low-profile bills. Many of the bills reaching the governor are appropriations bills to keep state government operating.
“He was plowing through a bunch of bills earlier today,” she said.