Idaho bill making voter ballot initiatives more difficult advances

Idaho bill making voter ballot initiatives more difficult advances
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An Idaho Senate committee on Monday approved the next step to advance legislation making it harder to get a voter initiative on the ballot.

The bill will get a hearing before the State Affairs Committee, according to the Idaho Statesman.

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If passed, the legislation would increase the number of registered voters that must sign a petition for an initiative from 6 percent in 18 districts to 10 percent in 32 of Idaho’s 35 legislative districts, the newspaper noted.

State Sen. Scott Grow (R), who asked the committee to take up the measure, said it would give rural counties more influence in ballot initiatives and “not just have the cities dictate what’s happening.”

“This law is consistent with our legislative responsibility to continually review and make sure that this is an appropriate process for folks,” Grow said to the committee, according to the Idaho Press.

In one recent controversial voter initiative, voters in Idaho approved a ballot measure last November that would expand Medicaid coverage to more low-income residents. The measure is set to be retooled with legislation taken up by state Republicans. Legislators are proposing work requirements in order to assure funding for the voter-approved Medicaid expansion.

Proposition 2, the Medicaid expansion measure in Idaho, passed in November with 60 percent of the vote.