Sunshine Law

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

A group of Idaho lawmakers studying the state's campaign finance reporting laws say candidates who don't file sunshine reports on time should face steeper penalties.

Ada County Statehouse Capitol Building Secretary of State Denney
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

A group of Idaho lawmakers is looking into the state’s campaign finance laws, or Sunshine Laws. Both Republicans and Democrats are on the Campaign Finance Working Group, which held its first meeting Wednesday.

Secretary of State Lawerence Denney advocates for more transparency when it comes to companies that support Idaho candidates. But the Republican election official also says there should be no limit placed on contributions, citing the Supreme Court’s rulings on the First Amendment.

Lawerence Denney
Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney wants to reform the state’s Sunshine Laws. According to Idaho Reports, Denney plans to introduce new legislation in the upcoming session. Sunshine laws are used to make government agencies more transparent.

Campaign finance reports show that Idaho Supreme Court candidate Robyn Brody has raised more than $177,000, but her campaign will be giving a small portion of that back because some contributions violated the state's campaign laws.

Brody received $27,000 from four farm-related companies all tied to one owner. Idaho's Sunshine Law prohibits donors from giving more than $10,000 to statewide candidates during primary or general elections, including banning aggregated contributions.

Deputy Secretary of State Tim Hurst says Brody is expected to file an amended report Wednesday.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

An initiative to update Idaho’s laws around campaign finance has until Monday at 5 p.m. to reach the signature threshold. Former Democratic state lawmaker Holli Woodings is leading the initiative, called Keep Idaho Elections Accountable.

Woodings says that if the initiative passes muster, voters in November will have the chance to decide how Idaho deals with money in politics.

A group campaigning for Idaho’s Propositions 1, 2, and 3 refuses to divulge the names of individual donors. Lawyer Christ Troupis represents Education Voters of Idaho. Troupis delivered a letter Friday to Idaho’s Secretary of State saying his client did not have to accede to the secretary’s demand for names.

Ben Ysursa
Courtesy of Idaho Secretary of State's office

Friday is the deadline Idaho’s Secretary of State has given a nonprofit to reveal its donors. The group Education Voters of Idaho gave more than $200,000 to a second group to campaign for Idaho’s Students Come First education laws. Voters will decide if they want to repeal those through Propositions 1, 2, and 3 on the November ballot.

You've likely seen ads or signs encouraging you to vote no or yes on propositions 1, 2 and 3. Each proposition addresses an aspect of Idaho's education laws known as Students Come First. These laws limit collective bargaining, institute a pay for performance plan, and increase technology use in schools. Finance reports were due Wednesday for groups involved and show there's a lot of money being raised to support and fight the laws.