Idaho Legislative Delegation of Rulemaking Amendment, HJR 2 (2014)

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Legislative Delegation of Rulemaking Amendment
Flag of Idaho.png
Click here for the latest news on U.S. ballot measures
Quick stats
Constitution:Constitutional amendment
Referred by:Idaho State Legislature
Topic:State legislatures measures on the ballot
Status:Defeated Defeatedd

The Idaho Legislative Delegation of Rulemaking Amendment, HJR 2 was on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Idaho as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was defeated. The measure would have empowered the state legislature to delegate rulemaking authorities to executive agencies and to approve or reject the administrative rules devised by those agencies.[1]

The measure was introduced into the Idaho Legislature by the House State Affairs Committee as House Joint Resolution 2.[2]

Election results

BallotMeasureFinal badge.png
This ballot measure article has preliminary election results. Certified election results will be added as soon as they are made available by the state or county election office. The following totals are as of 100 percent of precincts reporting.

Idaho House Joint Resolution 2
Defeatedd No205,90750.6%
Yes 201,129 49.4%

Election results via: Idaho Secretary of State

Text of measure

Ballot summary

The official ballot text appeared as follows[1]

Shall Article III, of the Constitution of the State of Idaho be amended by the addition of a new section 29, to confirm that the legislature may authorize executive rulemaking; however, the legislature shall not relinquish oversight, which such oversight is done by approval or rejection, in whole or in part, of an executive rule; and to provide that the legislature's approval or rejection of such a rule shall not require the approval of the governor?[3]

Constitutional changes

Idaho Constitution
Flag of Idaho.png
See also: Article III, Idaho Constitution

The amendment would have added a Section 29 to Article III of the Idaho Constitution. The new section would have read as:[1]

SECTION 29. LEGISLATIVE DELEGATION OF RULEMAKING AUTHORITY. The legislature may delegate rulemaking authority to executive agencies as provided by law. No rule shall supersede the legislature's authority under this constitution. The legislature may approve or reject, in whole or in part, administrative rules as provided by law without compliance with section 10, article IV, of the constitution of the state of Idaho.[3]


2014 measures
Seal of Idaho.svg.png
November 4
HJR 2 Defeatedd
Local measures

Sen. McKenzie (R-13) and Rep. Loertscher (R-32B) explained the amendment’s rationale. They said that when executive agencies create “rules,” the legislature should have the ability to reject those rules. McKenzie pointed out that since 1990, 4.5 percent of rules created by agencies have been rejected by the legislature. He argued, “We need to make sure that we don't have the executive or the judicial branch making law.” The legislature’s ability to challenge, approve and reject “rules” has been law since 1969. However, the law is not constitutionalized and a court could remove the legislature’s ability, like the Supreme Court almost did in 1989. McKenzie stated, “There are no states that I'm aware of that have a tighter rein on the rule-making process than we do.”[4]


HJR 2 received unanimous support in the Idaho Legislature.



The Idaho Legislative Council produced arguments in support of and arguments against the measure. The following were the arguments in support:

Statements FOR the Proposed Amendment

1. Legislative review of executive rulemaking is necessary to ensure that Idahoans have a responsible state government. Executive rules are written by executive branch state agencies. These rules describe how laws passed by the Legislature will be interpreted and implemented. These rules impact the lives of Idaho citizens, as state agencies regulate businesses, licenses, benefits, and fees. The Legislature's oversight of agency rules can limit agency overreaching into the rights and lives of Idahoans and its businesses.

2. Legislative review of executive rulemaking is necessary to ensure the separation of powers between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of Idaho government. Executive branch agencies write and adopt rules. Legislative review of agency rules ensures agency restraint and adherence to the law. Placing the Legislature's review authority in the Idaho Constitution protects that authority and the rights of Idaho citizens. [3]

—Idaho Legislative Council[5]

Rep. Scott Bedke (R-27A) called on voters to support the amendment on election day. He said:

Speaker of the Idaho House of Representatives Scott Bedke (R-27A)
The Founders of this nation wisely set up a system of government that includes an important, and delicate, balance of powers. Each of the three branches of the federal government - Executive, Legislative, and Judicial - has its own role to play, and this is true in Idaho as well. It is the job of the Legislative branch to pass laws they deem to be in the best interest of Idaho's citizens. Once laws are passed, the state's Executive branch (the Governor and various state agencies) implements them by writing new administrative rules. The new rules are published and public hearings are often held to gauge the effects of the rules on those most impacted.

Admittedly, few Idahoans pay attention to what these rules involve, where they come from, or who writes them ... and most people don't care. But we should pay attention and we should care, because administrative rules have the same force as law, and they impact each of us, every day. Whether you realize it or not, these rules govern many activities of your daily life, things like licensing procedures for your plumber or electrician, the grading of milk you buy at the grocery store, the quality of your drinking water, safe boating rules, even rules governing your pet's veterinarian.

The Legislature reviews every new administrative rule each year to make sure the laws they've passed are being implemented properly and consistently… This is a critical protection, and we take this responsibility very seriously. In fact, we spend the first few weeks of every legislative session engaged in a careful study of the rules before we vote to approve or reject them…

Our authority to conduct this review, and to reject those rules we find inappropriate or too burdensome, will be better protected if it is enshrined in the state's Constitution. HJR 2 confirms the Legislature's authority to approve or reject rules written by the Executive branch and shields that authority from future judicial challenges. It honors the separation of powers intended by our Founders and makes sure those separate powers remain separate. Most important of all, it assures the citizens of Idaho that their locally-elected senators and representatives will be able to protect them from unreasonable or unnecessary rules. That's an idea that every citizen should approve… [3]

—Rep. Scott Bedke (R-27A)[6]



The Idaho Legislative Council produced arguments in support of and arguments against the measure. The following were the arguments against:

Statements AGAINST the Proposed Amendment

1. Legislative review of executive rulemaking may infringe on executive branch power by the Legislature. By providing that the Legislature shall not relinquish its executive rulemaking oversight, the proposed amendment potentially could impact the ability of the executive branch to direct and manage the affairs of the state.

2. The proposed amendment is unnecessary. Legislative review is currently authorized by statute, and affirmed by the Idaho Supreme Court. As a result, legislative authority is adequately protected. [3]

—Idaho Legislative Council[5]

Path to the ballot

See also: Amending the Idaho Constitution

A two-thirds vote in both chambers of the Idaho Legislature was required to refer the amendment to the ballot. HJR 2 was approved in the Idaho House of Representatives on February 13, 2014. HJR 2 was approved in the Idaho Senate on March 19, 2014. The measure was signed by the Senate President and Speaker of the House on March 20, 2014.

House vote

February 13, 2014 House vote

Idaho HJR 2 House Vote
Approveda Yes 35 100.00%

Senate vote

March 19, 2014 Senate vote

Idaho HJR 2 Senate Vote
Approveda Yes 67 100.00%

See also

Suggest a link

External links