Otter Calls Special Session
Governor Butch Otter today called for a special session of the Idaho Legislature to deal with the child welfare system in the Gem State. The reason for calling back the legislators, the first time in nine years, was due to the 9-8 House Committee Vote on SB 1067. The bill was tied to federal funding that, if not passed, could cost the Gem State millions of dollars in federal child welfare funds.
"The Governor's proclamation calls for the legislature to convene on May 18th beginning in the state capitol at 8am. He cited the need for responsibility in dealing with families with children. " I am confident that I have the votes. I feel certain that after all the meetings that we've had and that I feel confident. You never know what's going to happen, " he said. Governor Otter revealed that he has been working with state leaders for eighteen straight days to answer every concern over SB 1067.
"I'm looking forward, we've got some work to do, we're going to focus on what we have to do, said Governor Otter. He said that the cost will be between 35,000-45,000 a day and that might be without pay according to the governor. He hasn't talked with the speaker about paying the legislators.
When asked how long the session should last, Governor Otter was optimistic, "I'm hopeful it will be hours and not days." He called it a comfortable conclusion in calling the special session. However if the plan fails, he conceded there's no plan B. "There is no alternative to a special session in holding people personally responsible," he said.
Governor Otter refused to criticize the committee members who voted against SB 1067. "I expect there to be legitimate compassion and sincere debate from both sides," said Governor Otter. He asked the families affected to pray for success of this special session. "We need your help. A little time on our knees and a spiritual effort will be great."