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House committee OKs bill to make initiative process tougher

A House committee has passed legislation that would dramatically toughen the requirements to get an initiative or referendum on the Idaho ballot.

The House State Affairs Committee voted 10-5 Tuesday to send to the House the bill that has become some of the most contentious legislation of the session.

The Senate narrowly approved the bill 18-17 last week.

The bill would require those seeking ballot initiatives to get signatures from 10 percent of voters in 32 of Idaho’s 35 districts, compared to current rules that require signatures from 6 percent of voters in 18 districts. The bill would also cut the time allowed to gather the signatures from 18 months to about six months.

Another requirement says ballot initiatives must contain a fiscal note and possible funding source for the proposed law.

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