FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 1, 2018
CONTACT: Katie Matheson | Alliance for a Better Utah
H.B. 471 IS ANOTHER ATTEMPT TO FRUSTRATE & LIMIT THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE
Salt Lake City, UT – The House Government Operations Committee gave a favorable recommendation by an 8-2 vote this morning to H.B. 471, “Initiative Amendments,” from Rep. Daw that would delay the implementation of initiatives approved by state voters. As amended, all initiatives would go into effect 60 days following the next legislative session unless it contains a special effective date sometime after that 60 day period.
Chase Thomas, Better Utah’s policy and advocacy counsel, issued the following statement:
“We echo Rep. Thurston’s comments when he said this bill is meant to give the Legislature the opportunity ‘to address the initiative for practical purposes, and perhaps political purposes.’ The insidious purpose of this bill is to give the Legislature the opportunity to come into session and change an approved initiative — the expressed will of the people. Legislators would rather make sure they can protect their own policy preferences, rather than empowering the people to make their own policy decisions.
“Once again, we remind legislators that voters are exercising their coequal constitutional power to pass and effect binding legislation. Rather than continuing to delay and frustrate the will of the people as it has continued to do for years now, the Legislature should step back and allow voters to express their will through the exercise of their constitutional power. Legislators need to stop attempting to undermine the initiatives in advance, as well as stop attempting to give themselves an opportunity to frustrate the purpose of the initiatives after they’ve been passed.”
Voting yea: Reps. Daw, Nelson, Perry, J. Peterson, V. Peterson, Robertson, Seegmiller, Thurston
Voting nay: Reps. Chavez-Houck, Arent
Alliance for a Better Utah is a good government advocacy and watchdog organization based in Salt Lake City. The organization works to improve the lives of all Utahns by ensuring balance, transparency, and accountability in Utah politics, policy, and government. More information at www.betterutah.org.