Press Release: HB471 is Another Attempt to Frustrate and Limit the Will of the People

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 27, 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 – In the final weeks of the legislative session, Rep. Brad Daw has introduced a bill, H.B. 471, “Initiative Amendments,” that would delay the implementation of initiatives approved by state voters.

“With the immense popularity of some of the proposed ballot initiatives, it’s no surprise that some legislators are attempting to preemptively change the initiative outcomes in the final hours of the legislative session,” said Chase Thomas, Better Utah’s policy and advocacy counsel. “The time-delay difference between initiatives increasing or decreasing taxes shows this bill is motivated by a desire to protect legislators’ policy preferences. It makes sense that tax changes should go into effect with corresponding tax years; however, that does not explain why an initiative would need to be delayed for thirteen months, rather than simply clarifying that initiatives with tax changes of any kind should be implemented on the January 1st following the initiative’s approval.

“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 initiative process, whether that be an increase in taxes, decrease in taxes, or any other policy proposal.”

Currently, proposed laws approved by state voters take effect five days after the Governor certifies the success of the ballot initiative by proclamation. H.B. 471 would delay implementation of an approved ballot initiative for up to a year depending on the initiative’s effect on taxes:

  • For initiatives without any effect on taxes: implemented 60 days after the end of of the General Session following the initiative’s approval
  • For initiatives with a tax increase: implemented on January 1st after the end of the General Session following the initiative’s approval
  • For initiatives with a tax decrease: implemented 5 days following the Governor’s proclamation certifying the initiative’s approval
  • For initiatives with a special effect date: implemented on the date contained within the ballot initiative

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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.

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