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'Hard to imagine why someone would leave Idaho for Washington' | Gov. Little responds to Inslee's request to veto abortion trafficking bill

In his response, Little took aim at Washington state's taxes, crime rates and homeless crisis.

WASHINGTON, USA — "Sky-high taxes, crime and public encampments"; these are the problems that make it hard for Idaho's governor to imagine why someone would leave Idaho and move to Washington state.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little responded to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee's request to veto the state's abortion trafficking law. In his response, Little took aim at Washington state's taxes, crime rates and homeless crisis.

In a letter sent April 4, Inslee asked Idaho Gov. Brad Little to veto House Bill 242 (HB 242), a bill that would make it illegal for any person to help an Idaho minor get an abortion in another state, even if abortion is legal in that state. Inslee claims the bill, referred to as the "abortion trafficking bill", could have "many unacceptable consequences that cannot be cured."

HB 242 was passed by the Idaho Senate in a 27-7 vote on March 30. After several amendments were made by the Idaho House, lawmakers passed a bill that same day and sent it to Little's desk, where it was signed into law on April 5.

More than two weeks after Little signed the bill into law, the Republican governor responded to Inslee's veto plea. In his response, Little clarified that HB 242 does not criminalize interstate travel for reproductive care, but rather prevents minors from traveling across state lines for an abortion without parental consent.

"Why do you not support that?" Little wrote. "The national media's and your efforts to exaggerate and misrepresent the bill only further complicate the process. It is a disservice to our citizens."

Little acknowledged that Idahoans are moving to Washington state and vice versa, but also took aim at some of Washington's most pressing issues.

"It is hard to imagine why someone would leave Idaho for Washington when your state is home to sky high taxes, crime, and public encampments," he wrote. "Meanwhile, Idaho has turned back more tax relief per capita than any other state, we’re one of the safest states in nation, and we don’t back down to activists – we kick illegal public encampments off public property."

Little said the state of Idaho has "the right and duty" to make laws regarding abortion after the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last summer. 

"I enclosed a copy of the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution for your convenience," Little wrote, followed by a highlighted copy of the Tenth Amendment.

KREM 2 received the following statement from the Governor's Office on Little's response:

Unserious diatribes will not deter Washington from defending the freedom and safety of anyone who comes here. That’s one reason why we’re consistently ranked one of the best states to live, work and do business.

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