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Citizens’ Initiative Bill Clears Committee, Headed to Senate Floor

Boise (670 KBOI News) – It’s arguably the most controversial piece of legislation making its way through the Idaho legislature, and it’s out of committee and headed to the Senate for amending.

Senate Bill 1159 would tighten the requirements for citizens initiatives to make it onto the ballot for voters to give the thumbs up or down.

In the Senate State Affairs Committee, Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett of Ketchum said the provision reducing the amount of time to gather signatures — six months — is way too short, given everything that needs to happen.

“Filing the initiative with the Secretary of State, waiting for the Division of FInancial Management for a fiscal impact statement, and requiring an estimate of any state or local long-term financial implications,” said Stennett.  “All of this needs to be gathered and attached to the initiative, before the signature gathering can begin.”

Chairwoman Patti Ann Lodge of Huston said some states, like Massachusetts and Oklahoma, have even shorter time limits.

The committee voted 6-3 to send the bill to the Senate’s Amending Order.