Senate OKs bill to make Idaho initiative process tougher

Posted at 12:30 PM, Mar 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-22 14:31:28-04

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Legislation that would dramatically toughen the requirements to get an initiative or referendum on the Idaho ballot has narrowly passed the Senate.

Senators voted 18-17 on Friday to send to the House the bill put forward by Republican Sen. Scott Grow.

The bill would require those seeking ballot initiatives to get signatures from 10 percent of voters in 32 of Idaho’s 35 districts, compared to current rules that require signatures from 6 percent of voters in 18 districts. The bill would also cut the time allowed to gather the signatures from 18 months to about six months.

Those in favor say the change is needed to allow rural areas to have an equal voice in the initiative process.

Those opposed say the changes will make the Idaho initiative process impossible except for big-money special interest groups.