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Idaho governor vetoes bill making ballot initiatives tougher

Posted: 12:49 PM, Apr 05, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-05 14:49:33-04

BOISE — By Keith Ridler, Associated Press

Idaho Gov. Brad Little has vetoed a bill that would have dramatically toughened the requirements to get an initiative or referendum on the ballot, and says he plans to veto a second bill intended to soften the first.

The Republican governor rejected the bill in a letter dated Thursday and delivered to the president of the Senate, Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin.

He issued his first veto because "I question the constitutional sufficiency of the bills and the unintended consequences of their passage."

Little says the result would be a federal judge defining Idaho's initiative process, and he can't let that happen.

The ballot initiatives bills have become some of the most contentious of the legislation this session. They are seen as a reaction by lawmakers to the Medicaid expansion passed by voters in November with 61% of the vote following years of inaction by the Legislature.