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Bill banning government influence in elections clears House

The Idaho House has passed legislation banning cities, counties and school districts from using public resources to influence an election.

Republican Rep. Jason Monks, the bill’s sponsor, said that municipalities are improperly using taxpayer dollars to influence the public rather than educate voters on election issues. However, First Amendment groups and government officials have opposed the measure because they argue the bill will create fear among public workers from speaking out on election topics.

House members voted 53-16 on March 14, an election day for many school districts across the state hoping to pass bonds and levies that will fund various projects because they don’t have enough state funding. The bill must now pass the Senate.

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