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House panel introduces new ballot initiative legislation

A House committee has introduced new legislation altering an existing ballot initiative bill that critics say makes the process so difficult that it violates Idaho’s Constitution.

The House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday sent to the full House the legislation that, compared to the current bill, increases how long signature gathers have and reduces the number of legislative districts where signatures must be collected.

The new legislation gives signature collectors 270 days to collect signatures from two-thirds of the legislative districts.

The current bill as written allows only six months and requires signatures from 32 of 35 districts.

The new legislation still requires signatures from 10 percent of voters.

The current law requires 6 percent of voters in 18 districts and 18 months to collect the signatures.

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