Press Release: Legislative Review Notes Save Taxpayers Money and Maintain Transparency

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 8, 2018

LEGISLATIVE REVIEW NOTES SAVE TAXPAYERS MONEY AND MAINTAIN TRANSPARENCY

Salt Lake City, UT – H.J.R. 14, “Joint Resolution Regarding Legislative Review Notes,” from Rep. McCay, was passed this evening in the House of Representatives. This bill would eliminate legislative review notes, notes attached to bills that legislative counsel determine have a high probability of being declared unconstitutional.

Chase Thomas, Better Utah’s policy and advocacy counsel, issued the following statement in response:

“Upon taking office, every one of our lawmakers swore an oath to ‘support, obey, and defend’ the constitutions of our country and our state. Doing away with these review notes, which simply warn that a bill probably violates constitutional law, seems to contradict that solemn promise. This repeal is not justified merely because some lawmakers don’t like being told their bills might be unconstitutional. However, there are a number of good reasons for keeping these notes — they act as warnings against constitutionally-suspect provisions, help prevent millions of taxpayers dollars being wasted on legal defense and attorneys fees, and help uphold trust in public servants, if they are heeded. I can personally say that as a lawyer who focused on constitutional studies during my legal education, this decision was extremely disappointing.”

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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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