The Governor’s desk is the last stop for both the bills that will move Idaho’s citizen initiative process out of reach for grassroots campaigns by the people. Both bills make Idaho the toughest place in our nation for citizens to use the ballot, silencing the people and taking away our constitutional right to make a law. And the Idaho Legislature’s 2019 session continues to drag on with no end yet in sight.
So, as far as these initiative bills go, what now? It’s up to us to maintain the pressure on Idaho’s top executive! Governor Little must feel our outrage at these threats to our democracy and our rights. Ask the Governor to veto BOTH the original bill placing insurmountable restrictions on initiatives, SB 1159, AND HB 296, the “trailer” bill that poses as a compromise. Keep calling the Governor’s office at 208-334-2100 and email him your reasons for your opposition. If you haven’t yet contacted the Governor about HB 296, call and email today. Then ask three friends to do the same. We The People can do this!
And If you haven’t been following the votes on these bills, take note that the initiative bills have received real bipartisan opposition, including this letter to the editor from one of the Idaho House’s most conservative members.
Aside from the bills to silence our votes, the legislature is still debating funding for Medicaid Expansion, which we all knew was on the legislature’s docket from day one. We The People already made the law with the 61% approval of Proposition 2. Today brought another amended bill (SB 1204a) with costly mandatory work requirements added back in, as well as a family planning referral requirement. This means, for example, women will need a referral from their general practitioner to see an obstetrician or a gynocologist, including for an annual wellness check. The bill passed the House today on a 40-20 vote. It moves to the Senate next for a vote on concurrence, before it can go to the Governor.
Despite the dramatic dueling Medicaid Expansion bills, the legislature actually needs only to pass a budget bill to fund the law. And the on-going debate about work requirements continues to cost us on a daily basis. Every single day the legislature is in session costs us, the taxpayers, the equivalent of an average year’s salary for an Idaho teacher. Contact members of the Senate to express your concerns about the wasteful work requirements in this latest bill!