The Senate wants a 60% threshold for certain voting initiatives | Government and Politics

The Senate wants a 60% threshold for certain voting initiatives |  Government and Politics

Senator Mike Diedrich, the deputy Republican leader, said he would have supported the constitutional amendment proposal had it appeared in the general election, but voted against the proposal when the timeline was accelerated as it would apply to campaigns vote already in progress.

“It’s unfair to people who obey the laws,” he said.

But Republican Senator Lee Schoenbeck, the pro tem Senate who initiated the decision to speed up the vote on the constitutional amendment, said it was important to put in “safeguards for taxpayers.”

He acknowledged that his accelerated push was driven by the Medicaid expansion campaign, but argued that the voting threshold should apply to all voting initiatives that raise taxes or spend significant public funds. The legislator must obtain a two-thirds majority for taxes and budgetary appropriations.

Democrats like Sen. Reynold Nesiba have decried the effort as “undermining the will of the people,” stressing that election initiative campaigns must already muster thousands of petitions, as well as months of public scrutiny. He said the constitutional amendment for the higher voting threshold would be easier to pass in a primary election that attracts fewer voters.

“We are cutting our people to the knees,” said Senator Troy Heinert, the Democratic leader.

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