SJR102 Idaho Constitutional Amendment.


On our November 8 general election ballots will be SJR102, an important amendment to the Idaho Constitution. If a majority of voters approve of SJR102, the Idaho legislature will finally be able to convene itself in special legislative sessions without the governor’s involvement.

In the current Idaho Constitution, the Idaho legislature meets once a year in January for its regular annual session which typically lasts less than 3 months. The legislature then adjourns and cannot reconvene until the following year unless the governor calls it back into special sessions for emergencies or urgent needs.

During the Covid pandemic the governor refused to call the legislature into session at the height of the emergency, and so the governor was able to do what he wanted without the important check and balance of the people’s representatives.

The governor changed the May 2020 election laws by executive proclamation, ordered businesses and churches to close, and even decided how to spend billions of dollars in federal Covid relief funds without consulting the legislature, which by law, is the only body with the authority to change election laws and appropriate the people’s money to governmental programs.

SJR102 was passed with the required 2/3 majority by the legislature in 2021 in response to this problem and will enable the legislature to call itself into a special session if 60% of both the Idaho House and the Idaho Senate request a special session to conduct the specific business the 60% majority demands. All of the Democrats in the legislature opposed the constitutional change, while 94% of the supermajority Republicans supported SJR102.

SJR102 will make Idaho function like 36 other states where the legislature has the power to call itself into session during times of urgency. Right now, Idaho is only one of 14 states where the legislature cannot convene without the governor’s call.

The Democrats claim that this will put Idaho on a path to a full-time legislature, but this has not been the case in the other 36 states. Legislators are part-time and don’t want to be in Boise all year. SJR102 will simply allow the people of Idaho to have representation in state government during times of emergency.

I am voting YES on this amendment so that the legislature will finally be an equal branch of our state government. SJR102 needs a simple majority of voter approval in order to become law.

The specific wording on our ballots will be as follows:

“Shall Section 8, Article III, of the Constitution of the State of Idaho be amended to provide that the Legislature must convene in organizational sessions commencing on the first Thursday of December after the general election, unless a different day shall have been appointed by law, and in special session by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives no later than fifteen days following the receipt of a joint written petition of at least sixty percent of the membership  of each house specifying subjects to be considered, and to provide that the Legislature shall have no power in such a special session to consider or pass any bills or resolutions on any subjects other than those specified in the petition and those necessary to provide for the expenses of the session?”. You can watch below:

Watch my video below for more information about SJR102: