Tougher ballot initiative requirement bill heads to Senate

Posted at 1:57 PM, Mar 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-20 15:57:28-04

BOISE — A bill that would dramatically toughen the requirements to get an initiative or referendum on the Idaho ballot is headed to the Idaho Senate for possible changes.

The Senate State Affairs committee on Tuesday voted to send the bill -- from Eagle Republican Sen. C. Scott Grow -- to the full Senate for amendments, after Sen. Chuck Winder, a Republican from Boise, said he felt it had an error.

Winder didn't say what he thought the error was, and said he wanted to send the bill to the full Senate so that, if it moves forward, lawmakers in the Idaho House could “deal with it.” But fellow Republican Sen. Kelly Anthon of Burley moved instead to let Senate colleagues work on fixing any potential problems first.

Critics have said the bill would make Idaho the toughest state in the country for voters to pass a referendum or initiative, potentially violating the state's constitution. But proponents say the move is necessary to ensure Idaho ballots don't get overrun with initiatives and to increase participation from rural voters.

(by Rebecca Boone, Associated Press)