Press Release: A pandemic is no time for a power grab

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 15, 2020

Salt Lake City, UT – Starting Thursday, the Utah Legislature will convene in a special session to address the impact of the COVID-19 emergency. One bill the Legislature will address is H.B. 3005, Pandemic Response and Consultation Act. The bill, sponsored by Representative Gibson, would require the governor to consult with legislative leadership 48 hours before taking executive action to respond to an epidemic or pandemic disease emergency. The bill also allows the legislature to override any executive action the governor takes in response to such an emergency.

Lauren Simpson, policy director for Alliance for a Better Utah, issued the following statement:

“Utah is currently fighting a pandemic emergency unlike anything we have seen in our lifetimes, and the Legislature is griping about the fact that Governor Herbert is doing his job. This blatant power grab could have devastating consequences for future emergencies. It is dangerous to tie the Governor’s hands to respond quickly and proactively to a pandemic crisis. 

“Having a single person in charge during times of crisis is one of the reasons we have executive officials in the first place. When time is of the essence, you want a leader who can respond nimbly to changing circumstances, without having to go through our traditional legislative bureaucracy to get things done. A pandemic is not the time to govern by committee, nor is it the time for the legislature to try and grab power for itself.”

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Alliance for a Better Utah is a nonprofit that holds politicians accountable and advocates for progressive policies that make Utah an even better place. The organization improves the lives of all Utahns through advocacy, transparency, and accountability in Utah politics, policy, and government. More information at www.betterutah.org.

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