Idaho Farm Bureau

James Dawson

It’s a brisk afternoon in January as canvassers hit Boise’s North End. Their goal? Roughly 56,000 signatures to expand access to Medicaid in Idaho.

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has selected former state Sen. Bob Geddes as the new director of the Department of Administration.

Otter announced the appointment on Wednesday.

Geddes is currently a registered lobbyist for Monsanto and the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation. Prior to that, he served one year as chairman of the Idaho State Tax Commission and nine terms as a state Republican senator from eastern Idaho.

Friday a group of Idaho senators hears from the public on a proposal to change how referenda and initiatives get on the ballot. This comes a few months after Idaho voters overturned education laws through the referendum process.

It takes 6 percent of eligible voters in Idaho to get an initiative on the ballot.  The Idaho Farm Bureau wants that to be 6 percent of voters in 18 of the state’s 35 legislative districts. Spokesman John Thompson says the Farm Bureau has wanted this change for years and calls it a preemptive move.