- Associated Press - Saturday, October 29, 2016

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Political donors have raised more than $107,000 since September to support the state’s only constitutional amendment on the November ballot.

The obscure proposal would amend the Idaho Constitution to allow lawmakers to reject rules created by executive branch agencies - otherwise known as a legislative veto.

A similar proposal was struck down two years ago, so sponsors this year have come back in full force to raise enough money to urge Idahoans to vote yes on HJR 5.

According to recent campaign finance reports released Thursday, Citizens for HJR 5 has received donations almost exclusively from Republican lawmakers and lobbying groups, including the Idaho Dairyman’s Association and Idaho Forest Group.

No Democratic lawmakers or left-leaning group has yet donated to the cause, despite the amendment having almost unanimous support from the minority legislative caucus when it sailed through the Idaho Legislature.

Citizens for HJR 5 has since contributed more than $56,000 of those funds to the Idaho Republican Party - which has also come out in support of the amendment. However, the party had not yet reported how much they have spent on pushing the amendment as of Friday.

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter recently announced his opposition to the proposal, as well as Attorney General Lawrence Wasden. Otter described the ballot initiative as a solution in search of a problem.

Nearly 25 years ago, the Idaho Supreme Court ruled that Idaho’s legislative veto power is legal. That ruling has never been challenged and Idaho lawmakers have been using legislative vetoes ever since. Yet Idaho lawmakers say they want that permission expressly enshrined in the Idaho Constitution.

Only a handful of other states have constitutional authority to veto these regulations without the governor’s signature.


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