Lawmakers look to cut into bond ‘supermajority’ requirement

Some Eastern Idaho lawmakers are taking aim at a daunting target: the two-thirds “supermajority” required to pass a bond issue.

Senate Education Committee Chairman Dave Lent, R-Idaho Falls, and Rep. Rod Furniss, R-Rigby, are discussing proposals to reduce the supermajority requirement, the Idaho Statesman reported Thursday.

The proposal is still being drafted, the Statesman reported.

But whatever form it takes, the resolution would face a high hurdle — perhaps an impossibly high hurdle.

The supermajority is written into the Idaho Constitution, so an amendment would need to pass both houses by a two-thirds margin. If that were to happen, the constitutional amendment would appear on the 2024 ballot, where it would need a simple majority to pass.

No state has a more stringent supermajority requirement for bond issues, and this wouldn’t be the first proposal to lower the threshold. But previous proposals have gotten nowhere in the Statehouse.

But Lent suggested that public sentiment could be changing.

“People are generally getting more and more dissatisfied with the fact that we’re not able to address our aging facilities in public education,” he told the Statesman.


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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