Week 4 at the Legislature

at the Statehouse (4)

Amend the Constitution and lose our rights? The Legislature just wants to…check. 

It’s been a very busy week considering today’s only Wednesday! This morning in Senate State Affairs, committee members heard over three hours of testimony on SJR101, the proposed constitutional amendment that would essentially ask voters if they want to lose their right to bring an initiative or referendum to the ballot. 

Dozens of citizens testified, with 95% of those present in opposition to the bill and only 2 individuals in support. A range of arguments were presented, but some of the most compelling asked Senators why they believe there’s a need to amend the Constitution. What is so important — especially when so many people are asking the legislature to leave the ballot initiative process alone – that warrants asking for a change to our Constitution? That question remains unanswered. 

In an abrupt motion, Senator Anthon (District 27) motioned to send SJR101 to the amending order, where changes to the bill can be made by the Senate as a whole. This process could take a while, or it could go quickly, there’s no telling. 

We’ll keep track of SJR101 and keep you in the loop. Until then, it’s crucial for us to keep up pressure by emailing and calling Senators. Let them know you oppose SJR101 and that there’s no need to ask us if we value our Constitutional Rights – we do.  

Tell the Idaho Senate: don’t force us to fight for our rights – vote NO on advancing SJR101. 

Call Your Senator Here (most effective action).

Email Your Senator Here.

Other things…

We now have our first bad elections bill of the session. HB54 would remove student IDs as a valid form of voter identification. It would also disallow the use of the personal affidavit at the polls. Right now, when a person forgets their ID, or doesn’t have a driver’s license, they can fill out a personal affidavit. 

Having both these provisions in one bill is concerning. HB54 hasn’t yet been scheduled for a full hearing. When it is, we’ll need folks to turn out in opposition, especially students! 

Budget Business

Several natural resources agency budget presentations are happening this week. The Idaho Dept. of Parks & Recreation included some interesting asks in their presentation, including line items for outdoor recreation and funding for deferred maintenance. We’ll report back when this one goes to a vote.

To keep tabs on other legislation we’re tracking, check out our bill tracker

A big thanks to all of you for keeping up with what’s going on at the Statehouse. It’s not always easy to keep track of all the bills, but it’s wonderful knowing Idahoans are engaged, thoughtful people. Keep up the good work!