2003 Legislation
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SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 116 – Judicial elections, study


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SCR116.....................................................by STATE AFFAIRS
JUDICIAL ELECTIONS - STUDY - Stating findings of the Legislature and
authorizing the Legislative Council to appoint a committee to undertake and
complete a study of judicial elections, including methods of financing
elections and methods of selection.
03/25    Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing
03/26    Rpt prt - to 10th Ord
03/27    10th Ord - ADOPTED - 32-2-1
      AYES -- Andreason, Bailey, Brandt, Bunderson, Burkett, Burtenshaw,
      Cameron, Compton, Darrington, Davis, Gannon, Geddes, Goedde, Hill,
      Ingram, Kennedy, Keough, Little, Lodge, Malepeai, Marley, McKenzie,
      McWilliams, Noble, Noh, Richardson, Schroeder, Sorensen, Stegner,
      Stennett, Werk, Williams
      NAYS -- Pearce, Sweet
      Absent and excused -- Calabretta
    Floor Sponsor - Davis
    Title apvd - to House
03/28    House intro - 1st rdg - to W/M
04/03    Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
04/04    2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
05/03    3rd rdg - ADOPTED - 54-14-2
      AYES -- Andersen(Guyon), Bauer, Bedke, Bell, Bieter, Black, Block,
      Boe, Bolz, Bradford, Campbell, Cannon, Collins, Cuddy, Deal, Douglas,
      Edmunson, Ellsworth, Eskridge, Field(18), Field(23), Gagner, Garrett,
      Harwood, Henbest, Jaquet, Jones, Kellogg, Langhorst,
      Martinez(Echohawk), Meyer, Miller, Mitchell, Moyle, Naccarato,
      Nielsen, Raybould, Ridinger, Ring, Ringo, Robison, Sayler, Shepherd,
      Shirley, Skippen, Smith(30), Smith(24), Smylie, Snodgrass, Stevenson,
      Tilman, Trail, Wills, Mr. Speaker
      NAYS -- Barraclough(Schanz), Barrett, Crow, Eberle, Kulczyk, Lake,
      Langford, McGeachin, McKague, Roberts, Rydalch, Sali, Schaefer, Wood
      Absent and excused -- Clark, Denney,
    Floor Sponsors - Jaquet & Mr. Speaker
    Title apvd - to Senate
05/03    To enrol - Rpt enrol - Pres signed - Sp signed
05/05    To Secretary of State

Bill Text

  ||||              LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO             ||||
 Fifty-seventh Legislature                 First Regular Session - 2003
                                       IN THE SENATE
                            SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 116
                                 BY STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
  1                               A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION
  5    Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
  6        WHEREAS,   the  judicial  system  in  the state of Idaho, as in many other
  7    states, has recently been the subject of intense  interest  resulting  from  a
  8    variety of pressures upon the system; and
  9        WHEREAS,  preservation of the independence and integrity of an independent
 10    judicial system is essential to the preservation of the critical role  of  the
 11    judiciary in the system of American government; and
 12        WHEREAS,  judicial  electioneering  undermines  judicial independence. The
 13    financing of judicial campaigns is thus limited to  those  wealthy  enough  to
 14    independently  fund their campaigns, a limitation unrelated to judicial compe-
 15    tence. Additionally, fundraising undertaken by candidates to achieve  election
 16    may  create  a  perception  of  judges  feeling indebted to certain parties or
 17    interest groups; and
 18        WHEREAS, when judges are subject to elections, there may be an  impression
 19    that  a judge develops a personal stake in the outcome of major cases. Elected
 20    judges cannot help but be aware that if the public is not satisfied  with  the
 21    outcome of a particular case, it could hurt their reelection prospects; and
 22        WHEREAS,  recent court decisions subject regulations of campaign financing
 23    to strict application of First Amendment protections which, while an essential
 24    guarantee, may minimize significant needs of citizens and voters to  know  the
 25    sources  of funding and campaign support and to place limits on the amounts of
 26    money which can be spent in a given campaign; and
 27        WHEREAS, in addition to considerations of campaign finance  reporting  and
 28    limits,  there  is  also  value in consideration of alternative judicial plans
 29    including the "Missouri Plan" and others which may offer appropriate options.
 30        NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the members of the First Regular Session
 31    of the Fifty-seventh Idaho Legislature, the Senate and the House of  Represen-
 32    tatives  concurring  therein,  that  the  Legislative Council is authorized to
 33    appoint a committee to undertake and complete a study of  judicial  elections,
 34    including  methods of financing elections and methods of selection. The Legis-
 35    lative Council shall determine the number of legislators and  membership  from
 36    each  house  appointed  to  the committee and shall authorize the committee to
 37    receive input, advice and assistance from interested and affected parties  who
 38    are not members of the Legislature.
 39        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that nonlegislative members of the committee may be
 40    appointed  by  the cochairs of the committee who are appointed by the Legisla-
 41    tive Council. Nonlegislative members of the advisory committee  shall  not  be
 42    reimbursed  from legislative funds for per diem, mileage or other expenses and
 43    shall not have voting privileges regarding the committee's recommendations  or
 44    proposed legislation. Membership may include representation from the Idaho Bar
  1    Association,  the  League  of  Women Voters, public interest groups, the Idaho
  2    Judicial Council, the court system, and others appropriate to the study.
  3        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the committee shall report its findings,  rec-
  4    ommendations  and  proposed  legislation, if any, as may be appropriate due to
  5    the level of committee activity,  to either the Second Regular Session of  the
  6    Fifty-seventh  Idaho  Legislature  or  the First Regular Session of the Fifty-
  7    eighth Idaho Legislature, or to both such Sessions.

Statement of Purpose / Fiscal Impact

                         STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

The purpose of this resolution is to authorize the legislative council 
to appoint a committee to undertake and complete a two-year study of 
judicial elections including methods of financing and methods of 

                            FISCAL IMPACT

If this resolution is adopted by the Legislature and the committee is 
appointed by Legislative Council, any necessary legislator travel and 
per diem expense would be paid from the existing legislative 
appropriation to the Senate and the House of Representatives.  Funding 
for staff support and expenses would be provided from the existing 
appropriation to the Legislative Council for the Legislative Services 
Office.  There would be no additional impact upon the state general 
fund as a result of this resolution.

Contact:  Rep. Wendy Jaquet
Phone:    332-1130
          Speaker Bruce NewcombPhone:    332-1111

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL IMPACT                            SCR 116