Hearing set in lawsuit over K-12 funding initiative

A group pushing an Idaho school funding initiative will get a court hearing next week.

The U.S. District Court will hold a hearing June 23 on Reclaim Idaho’s lawsuit against Gov. Brad Little and Secretary of State Lawerence Denney.

Reclaim Idaho is fighting a state requirement for in-person signature gathering, saying the restriction constitutes a First Amendment violation. The group says it should be allowed to gather signatures electronically — and should have a 48-day extension to qualify its school funding initiative for the 2020 ballot.

Reclaim Idaho filed the lawsuit last week, nearly three months after suspending its petition drive amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The group said it had gathered about 30,000 signatures for its initiative. In order to qualify for a spot on the ballot, organizers need signatures from 55,000 Idahoans — and signatures from 6 percent of registered voters in 18 of Idaho’s 35 legislative districts.

The Reclaim Idaho initiative proposes to increase corporate income taxes and individual income taxes for Idahoans who make more than $250,000 a year. The proceeds, some $170 million, would go into a separate state account for K-12 funding.

The June 23 hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m., at the U.S. District Court in Pocatello.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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