Public Referendum Bill on Idaho Governor’s Desk
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Getting referendum measures on the ballot could become more difficult under legislation approved by the Idaho House. On Friday, the House voted 45-21 to send the bill to the governor's desk. Approval came amid resistance from Republicans and Democrats who argued the bill adds barriers that will make the ballot process cumbersome.
The Idaho Farm Bureau-backed bill requires signatures to be gathered from 6 percent of registered voters in 18 of Idaho's 35 legislative districts to qualify an initiative for the ballot. Existing law requires signatures from 6 percent of voters without geographic restrictions. Boise Rep. Lynn Luker conceded gathering signatures could become tougher, but he says the measure gives rural residents a voice. Rep. Grant Burgoyne said changing the requirements essentially disenfranchises citizens who live in urban centers.