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Bill Requiring Waiting Period For Levies And Bonds Passes Idaho House Committee

Nicholas D

A bill that would block bond or levy proposals that fail at the ballot box from reappearing in front of voters for at least a year passed the House State Affairs Committee.

Sponsored by North Idaho Republican Heather Scott, the measure that would attach a waiting period to re-voting on previously defeated bonds and levies drew landslide support from committee members. Lawmakers supported it 13 to 1.

The Spokesman Review reports amendments to the bill will be drafted setting the cooling off period at 11 months instead of a full year. 

Scott says the intention of the bill is to target zealous taxing districts that repeatedly put proposals before voters until they pass.

Representatives from a broad spectrum of agencies came out against the proposed legislation, including school boards, school superintendents, libraries and cities. All claim attaching the waiting period stifles the ability of voters to express themselves. In Idaho, a super-majority of two-thirds is required to pass a bond.

The lone dissenting vote came from Pocatello Representative Elaine Smith. With Paulette Jordan stepping away from her seat in the legislature to focus on her bid for governor, Smith is now the only Democrat on the House State Affairs Committee.

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