Bill Description: House Bill 286 would place some limits on how taxing districts may lobby the public regarding bond and levy elections.
NOTE: The Senate amendment to House Bill 286 removes the prohibition on taxing districts including "additional information regarding any other bond, levy, or financial matter in the communication." This prohibition was intended to prevent certain lobbying techniques that attempt to minimize the financial harm caused to taxpayers by the passage of bonds and levies.
Does it in any way restrict public access to information related to government activity or otherwise compromise government transparency, accountability, or election integrity? Conversely, does it increase public access to information related to government activity or increase government transparency, accountability, or election integrity?
House Bill 286 would amend sections 34-913 and 34-914, Idaho Code, to limit how taxing districts may lobby the public regarding bond and levy elections.
The bill would create two subsections with similar language dealing with bonds and levies respectively. The first would say, "Any mass communication, whether in printed form, audio, visual, electronic, or any other medium, sent by a taxing district to twenty (20) or more voters and any media presented by a taxing district for public viewing, including posters, websites, or social media, regarding its proposed bond must include the information required … The taxing district shall not include additional information regarding any other bond, levy, or financial matter in the communication."
The second subsection is very similar but refers to a "proposed levy" rather than a bond.
The purpose of these restrictions is to make sure that a taxing district communicates clear and accurate information about any proposed bond or levy it wants voters to support, including its real purpose, cost, and duration.
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