Citizen's ballot initiative would also eliminate Idaho liquor
Jeff Ward, president of the newly formed Idaho Federation of Reagan Republicans, announced today that the group is proposing a citizen's initiative to privatize liquor sales and disband the Idaho Liquor Division.
In a press release, Ward said the initiative is an effort solely by his organization and no trade organizations or potential retailers were involved or consulted in the draft initiative.
"It was important to us that this initiative is written in regards to the proper role of government, not who would benefit by the privatization of liquor sales," Ward said.
He described the initiative as a conservative effort to reduce the size and scope of government and to free each Idahoan from "being in the liquor business." Ward encouraged all Idaho citizens, organizations and businesses to support putting the initiative on the ballot so "the people can decide if they want continue, through their state government, to sell alcohol."
The draft initiative eliminates the Idaho Liquor Division and creates licenses for private liquor retailers. It gives the Idaho Legislature time to recoup lost revenue with liquor taxes and fees and specifies continued funding of programs currently funded by liquor revenue. The initiative also empowers Idaho counties to control hours, locations and square-footage requirements of private liquor stores. If placed on the November General Election ballot and passed it would take effect July 1, 2013.
The proposed initiative petition must be submitted to the Idaho Secretary of State and then forwarded to the Idaho Attorney General to review and recommend changes.
Once the attorney general's review is complete, the Reagan Republicans will have until April 30 to collect 47,432 petition signatures, representing 6 percent of the registered voters in Idaho at the time of the last general election.
Without that amount of signatures, the initiative will not be placed on the November ballot.
The initiative is the first statewide effort by the Idaho Federation of Reagan Republicans, a statewide organization founded this month by the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans. KCRR is a Republican activist organization that helps elect Republican candidates. In 2011, 12 of the 15 candidates endorsed by KCRR won in Kootenai County including the defeat of 4 incumbents and winning 3 open seats.