Alert-House Bill 314 and the Creative Language to Avoid the Constitution.

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Constitutuion Alert!                                                     3-15-21                           

Representative Heather Scott - District 1



The Idaho Constitution Article 8, Section 1 says that the state shall not create or take on debt or liabilities unless authorized by law and approved by a majority of voters.  


House Bill 314 will likely be voted on in the House today, Monday (3-15).  House Bill 314 increases transportation funding from the general fund and allows local governments to put Idahoans in debt by financing transportation projects through bonding.  It would direct the state to borrow up to 1.3 billion dollars in the form of bonds in the hopes it will be paid back by future federal government transportation dollars. 


The creative language of House bill 314 creates a loophole around the constitution but I believe it violates the spirit of the constitution by allowing the Idaho Housing and Finance Association to be a middleman and accept debt for the state. 

Last week, you helped stop House Bill 195 that violated your 1st Amendment. 

If you are concerned about this bill, and Idaho taking on debt without voter approval, please contact your representatives immediately to let them know how you expect them to vote.  House Bill 314 will likely be voted on today, Monday (3-15). You can read the bill HERE.


If you do not know who your representatives are click HERE.





Section 1.  Limitation on public indebtedness. The legislature shall not in any manner create any debt or debts, liability or liabilities, except in case of war, to repel an invasion, or suppress an insurrection, unless the same shall be authorized by law, for some single object or work, to be distinctly specified therein, which law shall provide ways and means, exclusive of loans, for the payment of the interest on such debt or liability as it falls due, and also for the payment and discharge of the principal of such debt or liability within twenty years of the time of the contracting thereof, and shall be irrepealable until the principal and interest thereon shall be paid and discharged. But no such law shall take effect until at a general election it shall have been submitted to the people, and shall have received a majority of all the votes cast for or against it at such election, and all moneys raised by the authority of such laws shall be applied only to specified objects therein stated or to the payment of the debt thereby created, and such law shall be published prior to the general election at which it is submitted to the people, in the same manner as amendments to this constitution are published. The legislature may at any time after the approval of such law, by the people, if no debts shall have been contracted in pursuance thereof, repeal the same.

This section shall not apply to liabilities incurred for ordinary operating expenses, nor shall it apply to debts or liabilities that are repaid by the end of the fiscal year. The debts or liabilities of independent public bodies corporate and politic created by law and which have no power to levy taxes or obligate the general fund of the state are not debts or liabilities of the state of Idaho. The provisions of this section shall not make illegal those types of financial transactions that were legal on or before November 3, 1998.

Remember, we have a Constitution for a reason. 

Thank you for being engaged in your Republic!