Boise-area leaders dislike the idea, but it looks like the House majority wants to amend the constitution to allow local-option funding for transit - and they now have Gov. Butch Otter's backing.
An amendment, which may come up within days, would require two-thirds approval in the House and the Senate and then passage by a simple majority of voters.
But citizens would have to go back to the polls - in November only - to vote again for local option, and in a multicounty area like the Treasure Valley, it would require two-thirds approval in each county. From the Idaho Statesman:
Requiring a county-by-county vote in regional elections could make passage too difficult, Boise Mayor Dave Bieter said.
"Transit systems are almost always regional systems, and you ought to take it on regionally," he said.
The latest regional vote in the Treasure Valley was last May, when voters in Ada and Canyon counties agreed to tax themselves to support a planned community college. Seventy-one percent of Ada County voters approved the tax, but only 62 percent of Canyon County voters did. Voter turnout was light.
Many Treasure Valley lawmakers would prefer to put local-option authority in statute and not require two-thirds majorities in each county. A statute would require only the vote of a simple majority of legislators.
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