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Know the West

Nuclear waste deal challenged

  Idaho's Republican Governor Phil Batt abused his executive power when he signed a nuclear waste deal with the federal government last October, according to Democratic state Sen. Clint Stennett of Ketchum. In January, Stennett introduced legislation to nullify the deal that will allow over 1,000 shipments of nuclear waste into the state over the next 40 years (HCN, 11/13/95). He says the governor only has the power to administer laws, not create them, as Batt did when he signed the agreement.

"This isn't me versus the governor; this isn't Democrat versus Republican," Stennett said. "This is about the Legislature, the representatives of the people, keeping their power to execute laws."

Most of the 27 Republicans in the Senate, however, oppose Stennett's bill, and he is one of only eight Democrats. "It doesn't have much chance of passing," acknowledged Stennett. "But it's what I believe in."

* Anders Halverson