The Idaho Senate will vote on a package of constitutional amendments that would allow public entities, including hospitals, airports, and city power systems, to offer bonds and go into debt without a public vote.
The Senate State Affairs Committee on Wednesday approved three proposed amendments, which bypass public votes as long as local taxes are not used to pay off the debt.
Currently, the Idaho Constitution limits how much local government agencies can go into debt and requires a vote by citizens for a bond or debt that exceeds its income.
The proposed exceptions come after an Idaho Supreme Court case in 2006 ruled that Boise Airport needed to hold a public vote before offering bonds for a parking garage.
Proponents of the amendments say permitting public entities to go into debt would allow them to stay competitive in the marketplace and wouldn’t require taxpayers to foot the bill.
The House approved the three amendments last month. A two-thirds majority vote is required for passage in the Senate, and a majority vote is needed in the statewide election in November. (IdahoReporter.com