After reading the Post Register article regarding the costs of defending the state Legislature’s unconstitutional and irresponsible ultra restrictive initiative law, we as citizens and taxpayers are justifiably angry. Before passing that bill, the Legislature was warned by experts that it was unconstitutional, but they proceeded to pass the bill anyway. The Idaho Constitution guarantees citizens the right to put initiatives on the ballot. The rules are already very restrictive, and few initiatives have ever made it on the ballot. The Idaho Supreme Court has since ruled that the law “constituted a grave infringement of the people’s constitutional rights.”
We taxpayers must now bear the costs of trying to defend this unwise law. The state attorney general’s office was required to spend time and money on this case. Those costs are unknown. In addition, legislators also hired a private law firm to provide counsel and have already paid them $180,763 with more costs expected — a total waste of taxpayers’ money. And since they lost, as they were warned, we are required to pay approximately $152,000 for the costs incurred by the winning side.
Legislators were simply annoyed that 60% of Idahoans told them what to do by approving the initiative. We encourage everyone to check how their legislators voted on legiscan.com and please remember this during the 2022 elections. Perhaps we should demand that they repay us for having passed this irresponsible law. Maybe then they would pay attention when experts warn them a bill is unconstitutional.
Joe and Ann Delmastro