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Idaho Lawmakers Say No to giving Voters a Say in Urban Renewal

flickr.com, Boise Metro Chamber

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A bill giving Idaho voters more power over urban renewal projects has died in a House committee after two hours of testimony. The legislation rejected Thursday on a 9-4 vote would have given citizens a say over certain land redevelopment plans, a power currently reserved for city councils and zoning commissions. But the proposal received opposition from Democrats, Republicans and several groups who testified against the bill. Some said many local elections only occur annually, so the timeline for approving new projects would be lengthy.

Lobbyist Ken McClure said uncertainty that comes along with ballot measures could also discourage businesses from participating in redevelopments. Challis Republican Rep. Lenore Barrett said the measure would give taxpayers a voice on potentially costly city projects like new business districts or neighborhood revitalization plans.

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