Lawmakers change voter initiative rules: Successful ones will be delayed for months and petition signatures will be posted online.

This article originally appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune. Read it in its entirety here.

The Senate spent less than 30 seconds Wednesday discussing a bill that delays the implementation of successful ballot initiatives to give lawmakers a chance to change them.

Senators then passed HB133 on a 22-5 vote. The measure already passed the House 50-20 last week and so the governor will soon get the third bill this session that changes the process for running and enacting propositions.

“The essence of this bill is to give an intervening legislative session after an initiate passes, in the event that there needs to be technical cleanup or changes to the initiative,” said Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, the Senate sponsor of HB133.

The bill’s House sponsor, Rep. Brad Daw had said the delay would give lawmakers a chance to “fix” voter-approved initiatives.

None of Bramble’s Senate colleagues asked questions Wednesday or spoke in favor or opposition of the bill, which passed on a party-line vote.

But HB133 was criticized after the vote by the left-leaning Alliance for a Better Utah, which said the changes insert an “ultra-conservative ideology” into the initiative process. While most successful initiatives would take effect after the following general session of the Legislature, any initiative that includes that includes a tax increase would be delayed by more than a year.

Alliance for a Better Utah also objected to HB145, which cleared the Legislature Wednesday on a 50-21 vote of the House. That bill creates an ongoing tally of initiative petition signatures and a rolling deadline for individuals to remove their signatures, but also requires county elections offices to publicly post online the list of individuals who added their names to an initiative effort.

“In combination, these are bad bills meant to hamper the right of Utahns to create their own laws through the initiative process,” said Lauren Simpson, Better Utah’s policy director.

This article originally appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune. Read it in its entirety here.

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