It’s time for people power! In the last two days, proponents of the bill to silence the voters, SB 1159, have taken a turn toward secrecy, degrading the democratic process at the legislature. Thursday, Repbulican lawmakers hastily crafted a “trailer” bill to alter SB 1159, doing an end run around an open and public process. Proponents of this bill brought it (HB 296) to the floor of the Idaho House without a public hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee. Both bills passed today.
SB 1159 heads to the Governor’s desk. HB 296 goes to the Senate. If it passes, HB 296 will modify the terms of SB 1159, but regardless of those modifications our ability to qualify a citizens’ initiative is still beyond the reach of grassroots groups.
So! Contact the Governor and ask him to veto SB 1159! Call the Governor at 208-334-2100. Email him. Motivate your friends to do the same. Triple your impact by contacting 3 people and asking them to call and email today. Scroll down for some talking points. If the Senate passes HB 296, we will need to ask the Governor to veto that bill, too.
Now, for the good news! HB 277, the bill to gut Medicaid Expansion with work requirements, failed in committee due to a federal judge’s ruling against work requirements in Arkansas and Alabama. Nearly all the testimony was against the bill and the committee voted 7-2 to hold the bill. Now, Medicaid funding is being considered in the Senate with SB 1204, a bill that seeks to strike a better balance and won’t cost taxpayers nearly as much.
Talking points on SB 1159 Veto (and HB 296 if it passes).
These bills would almost uniformly prohibit grassroots initiatives from successfully qualifying for the ballot. Only big money interests would be able to meet the requirements. Silencing citizens is not the Idaho way.
If the legislature actually wanted an initiative process with more citizen involvement, they would have included more people in the discussion.
It is far more difficult to gather signatures in rural Idaho. These bills are not a way to include rural Idahoans because the timeframe to collect signatures is shortened; these bills make it harder to gather signatures successfully in rural areas.
These bills will likely end up in court, costing us, the taxpayers, millions. This is financially irresponsible.
Please stand with Idahoans to protect our constitutional right to citizens’ initiatives and stop this terrible waste of our tax dollars.