Idaho Dispatch

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Ballot Initiative Reform Bill on Governor Little’s Desk

By • April 12, 2021

Senate Bill 1110, a bill that would change the ballot initiative requirements in Idaho is on the desk of Governor Brad Little.

The Governor’s office has given no indication on whether or not he will sign the legislation. Little previously vetoed a change to the ballot initiative process back in 2019.

At that time, Little had concerns over whether the measure would hold up constitutionally.

One of the primary groups fighting against SB 1110 is Reclaim Idaho. The group has been pushing to kill the measure at each step of the legislative process.

Reclaim Idaho has been pushing citizens on social media to call Little’s office to veto the bill. Here is a screenshot of one of their recent Facebook posts:

Sen. Steve Vick (R-Dalton Gardens) is the sponsor of the bill and says that the reason for the change is to ensure that rural voters have a voice in the initiative process as the urban areas of Idaho continue to grow.

In previous testimony during a public hearing, Vick told the Senate State Affairs Committee,

I grew up in a rural area in Montana and it seems clear to me that as the population of Idaho continues to grow and concentrate in the urban areas that those areas are gonna end up making many decisions and I think that the wisdom of having a broad support for an initiative is worthwhile and that we don’t forget those people who don’t live in the population centers.

SB 1110’s “Statement of Purpose” states:

The purpose of this legislation is to increase voter involvement and inclusivity in the voter initiative/referendum process. This will be accomplished by ensuring signatures are gathered from each of the 35 legislative districts, so every part of Idaho is included in this process.

Legislators who have spoken in favor of the measure say it will help protect rural interests and give rural voters an equal say in the process.

Legislators who spoke against SB 1110 say that it will make the initiative process nearly impossible and give one legislative district “veto power” over a potential intiative.

Current Idaho law requires that signatures be gathered from at least 18 of Idaho’s 35 legislative districts. SB 1110 would require that signatures be gathered from all 35 legislative districts.

Little now has three options to choose from with SB 1110: He can sign the bill and make it law. He can veto the bill and force the legislature to try and override his veto. Finally, Little can neither sign or veto the bill in which case it becomes law after the deadline for him to take action has passed.

What do you believe Little should do with SB 1110? Let us know in the comments below.

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Tags: Brad Little, Reclaim Idaho, SB 1110, Steve Vick

5 thoughts on “Ballot Initiative Reform Bill on Governor Little’s Desk

  1. Singh the bill, if us in small communities loos our vote then stop charging us taxes, act like a Republican that you ran for and you took an oath as, take care of us or you are out its simple

  2. Veto. The initiative and referendum is a guaranteed right in the Idaho Constitution. If signed into law, Idahoans won’t have a vote because the proposed legislation is prohibitive and it will be nearly impossible to ever get another initiative or referendum onto the ballot in the future.

  3. In california rural votes no longer counted in Anything because the population of sacramento, sf, la, and sd outnumbered the rest of the state, and we all know how that ended up don’t we.

  4. Seems to me this proposed Law is unbalanced.
    What it does is give the Legislature overwhelming power.

    Yes, there is an issue representation of rural areas, but this is not the answer.

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