Idaho Senate to consider initiative hurdles

2/15/2013 8:00 AM
By Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Getting initiatives on Idaho's ballot could get tougher, if a bill being considered by a Senate committee clears the Legislature.

The Senate State Affairs Committee introduced the measure Friday, agreeing to debate this push by the Idaho Farm Bureau to stiffen rules governing direct democracy.

The group seeks to require signatures from 6 percent of residents in 22 of Idaho's 35 legislative districts before an initiative gets on the ballot.

Currently, it takes signatures from 6 percent of registered voters statewide.

Farm Bureau lobbyist Russ Hendricks says his bill restores urban-rural balance.

But foes like Democratic Sen. Elliot Werk say the measure, if it passes, guarantees lawsuits.

A similar law was overturned in Idaho in 1997.

On Friday, Werk said Boise district's residents have expressed anger about this renewed effort.

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