Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Presidential Primary Bill Gets the Thumbs Up in Idaho Committee

The Senate-passed bill to reestablish a presidential primary in Idaho and schedule it as a stand-alone election in March was favorably reported out of committee on the House side on the morning or Tuesday, March 24. The Idaho state House State Affairs Committee passed SB 1066 on to the floor for consideration with only minimal opposition. There were at least five dissenting -- one Republican joined the four Democrats on the committee -- votes recorded out of the 17 member committee.

UPDATE: FHQ dropped in on the committee hearing right before the vote on SB 1066 was held, so we missed much of the discussion on the bill. But it appears that the opposition to Idaho moving back to a presidential primary -- well, creating a separate, state-funded presidential primary in March -- is mainly coming from the minority party Democrats. What Republican opposition exists centers on the cost to taxpayers (via Betsy Russell):
“I am torn on this bill for a couple of reasons,” [Rep. Linda] Luker (R) said, after several people testified that they felt excluded from the presidential primary election process because they weren’t able to attend GOP caucuses in the last election. “I understand the need to be inclusive in terms of having everyone have an opportunity to vote.” But, he said, “It’s public funds. … I just can’t support the public expenditure part of this.”
By all accounts, though, it seems likely that moving to an earlier format that will increase participation in the nomination process will win out over that position when the bill hits the floor of the Idaho state House. That would have Idaho joining Michigan on March 8 on the presidential primary calendar.

UPDATE II: The price tag may be an issue, but as Nathan Brown added:
Supporters contend that is a highball estimate and the real cost would be about half that figure since many counties have school elections on that March date anyway.
This is an issue that has come up in the past but FHQ has not really highlighted. The would-be March 8 presidential primary would be conducted concurrent with school elections that fall on the same spot on the calendar.

Are you following FHQ on TwitterGoogle+ and Facebook? Click on the links to join in.

No comments: