Tell Governor Little: Protect Our Initiative Rights

Governor Brad Little

Idaho legislators and special interest groups are attempting to ram through a bill called SB 1110. This bill would make future grassroots initiatives virtually impossible in Idaho, essentially revoking the constitutional right of Idaho citizens to bring forth ballot initiatives.

The bill would require an initiative campaign to collect signatures from 6% of voters in all 35 districts, up from the 18 districts currently required. This would effectively block grassroots initiatives from making the ballot, while leaving the path wide open for big-money organizations from out of state.

This isn’t the first time legislators have attempted to revoke our initiative rights.

In 2019, just after Medicaid Expansion won at the ballot box, a group of legislators worked with the predatory payday loan industry to propose Senate Bill 1159, a bill that would have made future ballot initiatives virtually impossible.

Along with a coalition of citizens and organizations, Reclaim Idaho fought back. We launched a “VETO 1159” campaign and toured the state. In just one week, we generated thousands of phone calls to the governor’s office and collected over 10,000 petition signatures calling on Governor Little to veto the dangerous proposal.

In a bold decision, Governor Little vetoed the bill and protected our initiative rights.

Today we've launched an online petition calling on Governor Little once again to stand up for our constitution. Will you sign the petition and call on Governor Little to protect our initiative rights?

Sponsored by

To: Governor Brad Little
From: [Your Name]

Governor Brad Little,

We, the undersigned, call on you once again to stand up for our citizen initiative rights by vetoing Senate bill 1110, should the bill arrive on your desk.

Just like SB 1159, which you vetoed in 2019, SB 1110 would make grassroots initiatives virtually impossible in Idaho.

We firmly believe that it should be difficult to qualify initiatives for the ballot. In most cases, it should be the responsibility of elected representatives, and not ordinary citizens, to propose and enact laws. Citizens should propose laws only in response to urgent issues that our elected representatives—for whatever reason—have not adequately addressed.

The truth is that it is already extremely difficult to qualify initiatives for the ballot. Idaho’s current ballot initiative rules, signed into law by your predecessor in 2013, are some of the most stringent in the nation. In the years since the new rules were written, 15 initiatives were circulated and only two qualified for the ballot. Only 1 of 15 proposed initiatives has become law.

Of the 26 states with initiatives, no other state requires that high signature thresholds be met in all state-legislative districts. Without a doubt, these barriers will block grassroots initiatives from ever making the ballot again. At the same time, these new restrictions would leave the field wide open for initiative campaigns backed by millions of dollars from out-of-state interest groups.

We urge you, Governor Little, to protect the voice of Idaho citizens. You took a stand for the citizens of Idaho in 2019, and we urge you to stand up for our rights once again. Please veto SB 1110.