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Idaho Gov. Little signs off on $4M for legislative legal defense

The money can be spent at the discretion of the House speaker and the Senate president pro-tem, for legal fees whether or not they involve lawsuits.

Of the $4 million, he said, “They don’t have to spend it.”

“If it lasts for 50 years, it’s perfect,” he said.

The money can be spent at the discretion of the House speaker and the Senate president pro-tem, for legal fees whether or not they involve lawsuits.

The bill to transfer the funds, SB 1022, passed on a 27-7 party-line vote in the Senate, with all Senate Republicans in favor and all Senate Democrats opposed; and a 57-11 vote in the House, with all House Republicans present voting “yes” and all House Democrats present voting “no.”

He did it quietly, but Gov. Brad Little has signed into law the Legislature’s bill to shift $4 million from the state general fund this year to the Legislative Legal Defense Fund.

“There was always money in that account,” Little said when asked about his decision. “It was empty, and they needed some more money in it. So I signed it. If it was a smaller amount, I would’ve signed it too.”

Asked if he saw the $4 million transfer as part of the Legislature’s series of moves this year against accepting the legal advice of the Idaho Attorney General — the elected official charged by the Idaho Constitution with being the state’s legal officer — Little said, “It wasn’t in the bill.”

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