Legislation designed to change the initiative process is headed to a final vote in the House, but without two of its major provisions.
The House voted Monday to amend the legislation to remove a requirement that initiative drives must last no more than 12 months, and that sponsors must turn in at least 25 percent of the required signatures within six months.
The amended legislation would give initiative backers 18 months to collect signatures, and require each printed petition to declare whether it is being circulated by a paid staffer or a volunteer.
Democrats were defeated in an effort to remove the bill’s main remaining provision, that initiatives must get signatures from at least half of the counties. “That would make it extremely difficult to get initiatives qualified for the ballot without turning to paid signature gatherers,” said Rep. Margaret Henbest, D-Boise.
Rep. Mark Stubbs, R-Twin Falls, countered, “It requires the signature gatherers to go out in the counties and contact all the counties.”
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.