Reclaim Idaho Wraps up Town Hall Series on Ballot Initiative Rights in Eagle
For Immediate Release — August 15, 2019
Eagle — Reclaim Idaho wrapped its #IdahoSpeaks Town Hall series on ballot initiative rights where it all began — Eagle. That city is in the legislative district (14) of Sen. C. Scott Grow who introduced SB1159 last session. The bill would have virtually repealed Idaho’s 107-year-old citizen ballot initiative process. All told, the #IdahoSpeaks tour drew more than 550 people, including 20 state legislators representing 14 legislative districts. In the process, Reclaim Idaho volunteers knocked on more than 5,000 doors throughout Boise, Sandpoint, Coeur d’Alene, Twin Falls and Idaho Falls, talking with residents about the threat to Idaho’s initiative process.
“What is most surprising to us is just how many people were not only aware of this issue, but opposed to making changes to our constitutional ballot initiative rights,” said Luke Mayville, Co-Founder of Reclaim Idaho. “If the legislature tries to repeat their efforts in 2020, they are going to be met with stiff opposition from their constituents. Nobody wants this right taken away.”
Throughout the Town Hall series, local legislators who voted in favor of SB1159 were invited to speak about their vote. Senator Grow was invited to the Eagle town hall, but he declined. Fellow District 14 legislators, House Majority Leader Mike Moyle and Rep. Gayann DeMordaunt, were also invited but didn’t respond.
Under current initiative law, petitioners must gather signatures equal to 6-percent of registered voters statewide and in 18 of Idaho’s 35 legislative districts. They have 18 months to do so. Under SB1159, which was vetoed by Governor Little, the signature requirement would have increased to 10-percent statewide and in 32 of 35 districts. The time to collect the signatures would have been slashed by 66-percent to only 6 months.
A complete list of legislators who attended the #IdahoSpeaks Town Hall Series is below:
Boise (kick-off event)
Sen. Fred Martin (R-Boise), D15 (attended)
Sen. Jim Woodward (R-Sagle), D1 (spoke at end of Town Hall)
Sen. Mary Souza (R-CDA), D4, participated in debate
Rep. Paul Amador (R-CDA), D4, participated in debate
Rep. Jim Addis (R-CDA), D4, participated in debate
(Sen. Woodward also attended this event, but did not speak or participate)
Sen. Michelle Stennett (D-Ketchum), D26 (attended)
Rep. Laurie Lickley (R-Jerome), D25 (attended)
Rep. Linda Hartgen (R-Twin Falls), D24 (attended)
Rep. Chris Abernathy (D-Pocatello), D29 (attended)
Rep. Britt Raybould (R-Rexburg), D34 (attended)
Rep. Jerald Raymond (R-Menan), D35, participated in debate
Sen. Mark Harris (R-Soda Springs), D32, participated in debate
Rep. Barbara Ehardt (R-Idaho Falls), D33, participated in debate
Sen. Dave Lent (R-Idaho Falls), D33, participated in debate
Rep. Randy Armstrong (R-Inkom), D28, participated in debate
Sen. Jim Guthrie (R-Inkom), D28, participated in debate
Rep. Doug Ricks, R-Rexburg), D34, participated in debate
Rep. Steve Berch (D-Boise), D15 (spoke at end of Town Hall)
Rep. Melissa Wintrow (D-Boise), D19 (spoke at end of Town Hall)
Rep. Sue Chew (D-Boise), D17 (attended)
Background: Reclaim Idaho is the nonpartisan, volunteer organization responsible for getting Medicaid Expansion on the November 2018 ballot. The measure passed with 61% of the statewide vote. In addition to providing healthcare access to tens of thousands of Idahoans, Medicaid Expansion is expected to bring back $400 million in federal funds to Idaho, shore up Idaho’s rural hospitals, and create thousands of jobs around the state.