The founder of Idaho’s successful Medicaid expansion initiative yesterday [Wednesday] filed another ballot measure — about initiatives.
Luke Mayville, who co-founded the group Reclaim Idaho, acted on the same day that the state House voted 51-18 for a bill that would toughen initiative signature gathering requirements.
The bill would require sponsors to collect signatures from 6% of registered voters in all 35 of the state’s legislative districts. The current rules require signatures from 6% of voters in 18 districts.
“What the Initiative Rights Act would do is restore the traditional rules for signature gathering that existed in Idaho for most of our history," he said.
Those rules mandated 6% of voters’ signatures in the state, but there were no district requirements. Those are rules Mayville considered much more fair.
“We at least want to give the people of Idaho the opportunity to take this question into their own hands. It doesn’t need to come to that, though. The governor still has an opportunity to veto this legislation and if the governor does not veto this legislation, it will end up in court and the courts will likely have a chance to protect our initiative rights," he said.
Mayville says the public strongly supports protecting their initiative rights, rights that are enshrined in the state constitution. Idaho is one of 26 states that allow citizen measures. Opponents of the new bill say it would make the Gem State’s requirements the toughest in the nation.