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Senate committee OKs Idaho 'trailer' ballot initiative bill

Posted at 10:45 AM, Apr 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-02 12:45:23-04

BOISE — By Keith Ridler (AP)

A Senate committee has approved a "trailer" bill on ballot initiatives softening requirements of another ballot initiative bill that has already cleared the Senate and House.

The Senate State Affairs Committee Tuesday approved the legislation that, with the original bill, has become some of the most contentious this session.

The bill gives signature collectors 270 days to collect signatures from 24 of the legislative districts and must get 10% of registered voters in nine months.

That's meant to replace language in a previous bill that requires 10% of registered voters in 32 of Idaho's 35 districts in six months.

Current rules require signatures from 6 percent of voters in 18 districts in 18 months.

Backers say the change is needed to give rural voters an equal voice.

Opponents say it will make ballot initiatives nearly impossible and is unconstitutional.