Idaho Senate to consider initiative hurdles

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- Supporters of initiatives such as the successful one to the students come first education laws would face a higher hurdle under a bill proposed by the Idaho Farm Bureau.

Currently, it takes signatures from 6 percent of registered voters statewide to get an initiative or referendums on the ballot.

The Idaho Farm Bureau proposal would require signatures from 6 percent of residents specifically in 18 of Idaho's 35 legislative districts.

A Farm Bureau lobbyist told the Associated Press the proposal restores urban-rural balance.

But Senator Elliot Werk takes a different view.

"It raises the bar substantially on the ability of the citizens to petition their government," Sen. Werk said. "It basically weakens the people's democracy."

We wanted to find out more about this proposal but the Farm Bureau told us there was nobody authorized to talk about it here in Boise and they referred us to their office in Pocatello.

So we put in a call and left a message on voice mail.

Meantime Sen. Werk says he doesn't understand why the Farm Bureau wants to make the initiative process more difficult since there's been no abuse of the system.