‘Lawless act’: Idaho’s Lt. Gov. says Gov. Little left the state without notifying her office

Idaho Lieutenant Governor Bans Masks While Governor Away
Darin Oswald

FILE - In this May 19, 2021, file photo, Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin announces her candidacy to become governor of Idaho at a rally on the Statehouse steps in Boise, Idaho. Lt. Gov. McGeachin on Thursday, May 27, 2021, issued an executive order banning mask mandates statewide among state political entities and schools. McGeachin is acting governor while Republican Gov. Brad Little is out of state at the Republican Governors Association conference.

BOISE, Idaho– Idaho’s lieutenant governor is calling out the state’s top elected leader.

On Friday, Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin sent out a statement saying Gov. Brad Little left the state without letting her office know. She says that’s a problem because when he leaves, the Lt. Governor steps in to “serve in that position “until the governor returns to the state.”

McGeachin called this a “lawless act, calculated to deny the people of Idaho a governor present in the state as definitively required by the state’s laws and constitution.”

“Did the governor fail to notify my office because he didn’t want me to use my position as acting governor to once again give the power and decision-making back to the people of Idaho?” Lt. Governor McGeachin asked. “Regardless of his reasons, he left the state of Idaho without a Governor for multiple days in direct violation of the law.”

Lt. Gov. McGeachin has used this state law to her advantage before when Gov. Little has left the state. In May she issued an executive order banning mask mandates at Idaho government entities, including public schools. The order was repealed by Gov. Little and he called it an “irresponsible abuse of power.”

The same thing happened in October when Gov. Little was in Texas meeting with other Republican governors over concerns on how President Joe Biden is handling border issues. As acting governor, McGeachin issued an executive order that, among other things, prevented employers from requiring their employees get vaccinated against COVID-19. This order was also repealed by Gov. Little.

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