Winder screenshot 2-22-21

Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise, discusses his bill, SB 1111, on city elections during a Senate State Affairs Committee meeting on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021.

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The Senate has returned SB 1111a, the bill regarding by-district city council elections in Idaho's largest cities that the House amended to tack on provisions moving all city elections from odd-numbered to even-numbered years, to committee, due to errors in the amendments. "They left out the mayor's election, and messed up the bonding," said Senate President Pro-Tem Chuck Winder, R-Boise, the bill's original sponsor.

"Senators, when I started out with this bill a year ago, it was to get districting" in city council elections, he said. The original SB 1111 made changes to legislation passed last year requiring by-district city council elections, making adjustments to make the new requirement work for the cities, including handling the transition in their city elections. The original bill, before the House amendments, had passed the Senate unanimously. Winder said he's now concluded the Legislature will have to come back next year with two separate bills.

If not, he said, fixing it "could add an extra 10 days to onto this session, and I'm just not willing to do that."

The Senate agreed unanimously to return SB 1111a to committee. 

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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