U.S. District Courthouse in Boise

James D. McClure U.S. District Courthouse and federal building in Boise

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Gov. Brad Little and Secretary of State Lawerence Denney are rejecting both options given by a federal judge in Reclaim Idaho’s ballot initiative lawsuit, writes Idaho Press reporter Rachel Spacek. Reclaim Idaho, the organization that successfully organized Idaho’s Medicaid expansion ballot initiative in 2018, sued the state over not being allowed to collect electronic signatures for its educating funding ballot initiative amid the pandemic and stay-home order.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled in Reclaim Idaho’s favor and said the state must give Reclaim Idaho another chance to qualify its school-funding initiative for the November 2020 ballot.

The state filed a 14-page response Friday, the deadline to respond.

“The Governor and Secretary of State cannot choose either option the Court proposed as remedies without violating their duties to uphold the law,” the state said in its response to the court. “If the Court chooses to award one of the proposed remedies, the Governor and Secretary of State request that the Court stay its order pending an appeal.”

Reclaim Idaho is pressing for an “Invest in Idaho” initiative proposing to raise income tax rates on corporations and the wealthy by 3 percentage points to generate $170 million a year for public schools, reducing the need for local supplemental property tax levies.

You can read Spacek's full story here at idahopress.com, or pick up Saturday's edition of the Idaho Press.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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