Idaho Gov CL Otter Idaho governor's office

Idaho Gov. C.L. Otter

Idaho governor vetoes bill authorizing Bible use in school instruction

Gov. C.L. Otter says legislation violated the state constitution.

Idaho's governor has vetoed legislation that would have permitted the use of the Bible in public school instruction.

In rejecting the bill, Gov. C. L. "Butch" Otter called the measure unconstitutional, ABC News reports.

"I have deep respect and appreciation for the Bible as religious doctrine as well as a piece of historic literature," Otter wrote in a veto message. "However, allowing S1342 to become law is a direct contravention to the Idaho Constitution, and it could result in the loss of funding and costly litigation for Idaho public schools."

Idaho public school students are allowed to reference the Bible and other religious texts in their studies, but the rejected legislation specifically mentions the Bible and states that the book could be used for reference purposes in subjects such as literature, history, music and world geography.

State lawmakers passed the bill after ignoring a warning from the attorney general's office that questioned its legality. A statement released by the office quoted the Idaho Constitution that prohibits the use of books that are of a sectarian or denomination character in public schools.

Conservative lawmakers argued that the legislation was needed because the Bible was "under attack."

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