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Thanks to the generosity of the Idaho Legislature, voters in November will have a chance to abolish their constitutional right to vote on public debt. Most voters probably won’t be inclined to give up rights they already hold.
Idaho’s constitution currently mandates that all public debt in excess of a single year’s revenues be approved by voters. After GUARDIAN editor David R. Frazier won an Idaho Supreme Court decision in 2006 blocking the City of Boise’s attempt to build an airport parking garage without voter approval, banks throughout the state forced cities to follow the constitution and ask voter assent prior to loaning funds. Few cities wanted voter scrutiny and they have now used public money in efforts to lobby for constitutional amendments.
They chopped up the proposals to cover hospitals, airports, and electric generating facilities owned by cities. Here is an ASSOCIATED PRESS story by John Miller at the Statesman site that explains the issues.
The proposed amendments required 2/3 approval of both the House and Senate. Now all three will appear on the November ballot statewide