Idaho Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens has introduced a bill requiring ballot initiatives be signed by at least 6% of qualified electors in all ALL 35 of Idaho’s legislative districts - a standard so high that it is unlikely to ever be met.
The first initiative to qualify in Idaho by current rules was passed three to one in 1938. Two attempts to change the rules since then were passed by the legislature but never went into effect. The voters do not want this.
Senator Vick thinks he “lost” when the ballot initiative to expand Medicaid in Idaho passed. In reality, we all won. For 10 years, the legislature failed to address affordable health insurance for working Idahoans who fell into a gap. Now, because the people spoke, more Idahoans have health care; we are receiving federal tax money to pay for most of it and it came in the nick of time for COVID.
Senator Vick’s proposed rules will take away Idahoans’ right to put initiatives on the ballot and then vote on them. The current rules are designed to give Idaho citizens a voice. All of us get to decide for ourselves.
Our state government is not a game that some win and some lose. It is the duty of Senators and Representatives to let us vote on issues they are unwilling to address. Senator Vick is not playing fair, and his rules are likely to kill the possibility of ballot initiatives on any issue in Idaho.