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Idaho Bill Makes Ballot Initiatives Harder

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Getting initiatives on Idaho’s ballot should be tougher, according to a bill in the Senate. The State Affairs Committee introduced the measure Friday, agreeing to debate the Idaho Farm Bureau push to stiffen rules governing direct democracy.

It seeks to require signatures from 6 percent of residents in 18 of Idaho’s 35 legislative districts before an initiative gets on the ballot. That’s down from 22 districts, in a previous version. Currently, it takes signatures from 6 percent of registered voters statewide. Farm Bureau lobbyist Russ Hendricks says his bill restores urban-rural balance.

But foes like Democratic Sen. Elliot Werk say the measure, if it passes, guarantees lawsuits. A similar law was overturned in Idaho in 1997. On Friday, Werk said Boise district’s residents have expressed anger about this renewed effort.

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