The Idaho House of Representatives will soon vote on Senate Bill 1110 which, if adopted, will make it virtually impossible for citizens to exercise their constitutional right to propose a law change for consideration by fellow voters.
For those who have not worked on citizen initiatives, gathering enough signatures to get a proposal on the ballot is not easy. For volunteers to engage in the effort, it has to be an important issue that elected officials have ignored or mishandled — like Medicaid expansion.
The current law requires signatures from 6% of registered voters in the state, including at least 6% of voters in 18 legislative districts. This requirement was established in 2013 and since then only two citizen initiatives have made it to the ballot. If we have a problem, it is that existing requirements are too difficult. S 1110 makes this worse by requiring signatures from 6% of registered voters in all 35 legislative districts. If there is one district without someone willing to coordinate signature gathering, the initiative, no matter how good, is doomed.
Why is S 1110 being considered? Because the Idaho Legislature does not want average citizens exercising their constitutional right to change state laws.
If you want to retain our initiative rights, encourage Legislative District 7 representatives to vote no on S 1110. Their contact information is:
• Rep. Priscilla Giddings
208-332-1033 (statehouse)/208-570-8616 (home)
• Rep. Charlie Shepherd
208-332-1067 (statehouse)/208-859-0023 (home)