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Of squeakers and blowouts

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

Nationally speaking, Tuesday’s election results might not have been what everyone was expecting or predicting. It may take days or weeks to sort everything out.

But when it came to issues in the Mountain States, voters were pretty clear – with one exception.

Idaho voters overwhelmingly backed an advisory vote approving of the Governor and Legislature’s recent actions to increase K-12 funding and lower the state’s income tax to a flat rate. With almost all of the vote in, the question is receiving nearly 80% support.

Washington voters again have repealed taxes and requirements in advisory votes 39 (aircraft fuel tax increase) and 40 (adopting worker’s compensation requirements for ride share companies). What happens now? Nothing. These ballot questions in Washington are non-binding and intended only to inform voters of what action legislators previously took.

In Montana, voters approved a constitutional amendment to protect data. The measure stops law enforcement from collecting data without a warrant or consent.

Now, about that exception.

Idaho’s Constitutional Amendment Question – SJR 102 – is passing, but it’s somewhat close. Throughout much of Tuesday night, in fact, it was very close. The measure would allow the Idaho Legislature to call itself into special session if at least 60% of the legislators agree. This change would actually bring Idaho in line with most other states, which allow the separate-but-equal branch of government authority to decide when it meets. Idaho was one of the minority of states where the Governor had to sign off.

There were concerns that this would mean a full-time legislature in the state of Idaho, but as we previously pointed out, that hasn’t happened in the other states that have this provision.

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