LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL'S STATEMENTS FOR THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT
1. Section 19, Article IV of the state constitution sets salaries for state executive offices that were reasonable only during the early years of statehood. These salaries have ceased to be relevant. Section 27, Article V of the state constitution, which allows the legislature to adjust the compensation of state judicial and executive officers by statute, is the section of the state constitution that has been followed in setting the salaries of these officers. Section 27, Article V of the state constitution will continue to be the controlling constitutional provision for setting salaries of state judicial and constitutional executive officers.
2. The repeal of Section 19, Article IV will modernize the state constitution so there will be no confusion about the compensation paid to executive officers.
3. The salary levels enumerated in Section 19, Article IV of the state constitution, ranging from $1,000 for the state treasurer to $3,000 for the governor, have been obsolete since 1907 when the Legislature first increased the constitutional executive officer salaries.
4. As authorized by Section 27, Article V, the Legislature has periodically adjusted salaries of state constitutional executive officers as was reasonable and appropriate in the circumstances. Therefore, repeal of Section 19, Article IV of the constitution would have no effect on compensation of executive officers.
LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL'S STATEMENTS AGAINST THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS
1. The state constitution should never be changed unless there is a constitutional crisis. There is no such crisis. The fact that certain provisions of the state constitution are obsolete is no reason to repeal them. The constitution should retain the history of the state's constitutional law and tradition within the document itself.
2. Constitutional language must be precise, concise and timeless so that it is flexible enough to allow adjustments by statute. Instead of repealing Section 19, Article IV it would be better to amend Section 19 to provide statutory authority to the legislature to set the salaries of constitutional executive officers. In that manner the requirement to be precise, concise and timeless could be met.
3. The "law of unforeseen consequences" may arise if Section 19, Article IV of the state constitution is repealed. While much of the language contained in Section 19, Article IV of the state constitution may be duplicated in subsequent statutes, the effect of its absence from the state constitution may not be apparent for many years. If Section 19 is repealed, there will be no provision in Article IV of the state constitution for setting salaries; and fees for constitutional executive offices. Article IV is that portion of the constitution that prescribes the fundamental structure of the executive branch of state government. If Section 19, Article IV is repealed, constitutional authority for setting executive officers' salaries and fees will have to be taken from Section 27, Article V. Article V prescribes the fundamental structure of the judicial branch of state government. Constitutional authority should remain separate for each branch of government.
4. The effect of deleting this constitutional provision is unclear. In a 1946 case, the Idaho Supreme Court relied, in part, upon Section 19, Article IV of the state constitution when it ruled that the legislature may not change salaries of constitutional executive officers during their term of office, recognizing that the prohibition against such pay changes was also contained in the same section of the constitution which authorizes payment of salaries and fees to state executive officers.