March 11, 2016 •

Utah Legislature Adjourns 2016 Legislative Session

The Utah Legislature adjourned its 2016 session sine die on March 10. Gov. Gary Herbert has until March 30 to veto or sign legislation. The governor does not possess a pocket veto. The normal effective date for bills passed this […]

Utah State CapitolThe Utah Legislature adjourned its 2016 session sine die on March 10. Gov. Gary Herbert has until March 30 to veto or sign legislation. The governor does not possess a pocket veto. The normal effective date for bills passed this year, unless otherwise specified, is May 9.

Photo of the Utah State Capitol by Robert Cutts on Wikimedia Commons.

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February 25, 2016 •

Repeal 17th Amendment: Utah Senate Wants Selection of U.S. Senators Returned From State Voters to State Legislators

On February 24, the Utah Senate passed Senate Joint Resolution 2, which asks Congress to repeal the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and proposes a new Amendment to return the power of choosing U.S. Senators to state legislatures. The […]

Senate Joint Resolution 2On February 24, the Utah Senate passed Senate Joint Resolution 2, which asks Congress to repeal the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and proposes a new Amendment to return the power of choosing U.S. Senators to state legislatures. The resolution contends the “popular election of senators has diluted the power of the separate states, diminished federalism, and resulted in the increased power of the federal government over the individual states.”

In the proposed language of the new Amendment, each state must create “a liaison committee” to “work with its United States Senators in evaluating the impact of federal legislation on its state. All legislation proposed by Congress, and all treaties proposed, shall be submitted to each State’s liaison committee.” Additionally, the language of the Amendment calls for the senators to be subject to removal by the senator’s state legislature and for their salary to be provided by the senator’s state. The resolution quotes arguments made by James Madison in the Federalist Papers that federal legislation should be “ratified by two independent power sources: the people’s representatives in the House and the state legislatures’ agents in the Senate.”

The resolution passed 20-6. All five senators from the Democratic Party, along with one Republican senator, voted against the resolution. Three other Republican senators did not vote.

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December 10, 2015 •

Salt Lake City Lowers Contribution Limits and Bans Vendor Contributions

On December 8, 2015, the City Council of Salt Lake City unanimously passed an ordinance reducing campaign contribution limits for city candidates. A proposal to ban corporate contributions failed after Councilmember Erin Mendenhall convinced the council the money would instead […]

Salt Lake CityOn December 8, 2015, the City Council of Salt Lake City unanimously passed an ordinance reducing campaign contribution limits for city candidates. A proposal to ban corporate contributions failed after Councilmember Erin Mendenhall convinced the council the money would instead enter the campaigns through corporate political action committees (PACs) and super PACs, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

The new law lowers the amount an individual or entity can give to a mayoral candidate from $7,500 to $3,500 and to council candidates from $1,500 to $750. The council also banned contributions from contractors doing business with the city.

Photo of downtown Salt Lake City by NorthernMagnolia on Wikimedia Commons.

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August 20, 2015 •

Utah Legislature Adjourns Special Session

The Utah Legislature adjourned its one-day special session on August 19, 2015. A resolution to build a state prison in Salt Lake City was approved, as expected. Gov. Gary Herbert, who called the special session, will address whether he will […]

Utah's Capitol HillThe Utah Legislature adjourned its one-day special session on August 19, 2015. A resolution to build a state prison in Salt Lake City was approved, as expected. Gov. Gary Herbert, who called the special session, will address whether he will sign or reject the resolution at his regularly scheduled news conference today.

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August 19, 2015 •

Utah Special Session Held Today

Today at 3 p.m. the first special session of the Utah 61st Legislature will be held. The session, expected to last one day, was called by Gov. Gary Herbert on August 14 to vote on a resolution concerning the building […]

Utah State CapitolToday at 3 p.m. the first special session of the Utah 61st Legislature will be held. The session, expected to last one day, was called by Gov. Gary Herbert on August 14 to vote on a resolution concerning the building of a new state prison in Salt Lake City. While the resolution is expected to pass, the new prison still faces opposition from city leaders, who may file “an environmental lawsuit to slow or block the project,” according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Photo of the Utah State Capitol by Robert Cutts on Wikimedia Commons.

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May 13, 2015 •

Utah Lobbying Law Modifications Take Effect

Some modifications to Utah’s lobbying laws came into effect on May 12, including linking the reporting threshold for food and beverages provided to covered officials to the state employee food reimbursement rate. The current food reimbursement rate is a total […]

Seal of UtahSome modifications to Utah’s lobbying laws came into effect on May 12, including linking the reporting threshold for food and beverages provided to covered officials to the state employee food reimbursement rate. The current food reimbursement rate is a total of $39 a day, divided as $10 for breakfast, $13 for lunch, and $16 for dinner.

Additionally, a quarterly report will no longer be required for a lobbyist who has not made an expenditure during a quarterly reporting period. A lobbyist who is not required to file any quarterly reports for a calendar year must still file an annual financial report.

Definitions have also been added or amended. For example, publications having a cash value not exceeding $30 have been excluded from the definition of expenditure.

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March 16, 2015 •

Utah Legislature Adjourns

The Utah Legislature adjourned its 2015 session sine die on March 12, 2015. Governor Gary Herbert has until April 1 to veto or sign legislation. The Governor does not possess a pocket veto. The normal effective date for bills passed […]

Utah State CapitolThe Utah Legislature adjourned its 2015 session sine die on March 12, 2015. Governor Gary Herbert has until April 1 to veto or sign legislation. The Governor does not possess a pocket veto. The normal effective date for bills passed this year is May 12.

Photo of the Utah State Capitol by Robert Cutts on Wikimedia Commons.

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May 13, 2014 •

Utah Law Requiring Independent Expenditure Reporting Effective Today

A new Utah state law requiring independent expenditure reporting for political spending became effective today. House Bill 39 requires all persons and entities, except political parties, to file independent expenditure reports with Utah’s chief election officer within 30 days after […]

Seal of Utah

A new Utah state law requiring independent expenditure reporting for political spending became effective today. House Bill 39 requires all persons and entities, except political parties, to file independent expenditure reports with Utah’s chief election officer within 30 days after the day on which a person or entity has made a total of at least $1,000 in independent expenditures during an election cycle.

Another provision of the new law is the requirement to retain records related to the filings for two years, including all independent expenditures, receipts, and donations described in the reports. New definitions concerning independent expenditures are now codified, including telephone bank, which is defined as “500 or more identical or substantially similar telephone calls within any 30-day period.” Fines from $100 to $1000 can be imposed for violations.

 

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April 4, 2014 •

Utah: Lobbyist Name Tags Required Starting in August

Beginning August 1, 2014, a lobbyist may not lobby a public official while at the Utah Capitol Hill complex unless the lobbyist is wearing a newly required name tag in plain view. House Bill 246, which Governor Gary Herbert signed […]

lobbyist badge photo

Beginning August 1, 2014, a lobbyist may not lobby a public official while at the Utah Capitol Hill complex unless the lobbyist is wearing a newly required name tag in plain view.

House Bill 246, which Governor Gary Herbert signed this week, will require all lobbyists be issued name tags bearing the word lobbyist and the lobbyist’s full name in at least 18-point type. The procedure to apply for name tags is being developed by the Lieutenant Governor’s Office and will be available before August 1, 2014. The Capitol Hill complex includes the grounds, monuments, parking areas, buildings, and other man-made and natural objects within the area bounded by 300 North Street, Columbus Street, 500 North Street, and East Capitol Boulevard, in Salt Lake City.

Additionally, the new law has raised the lobbyist registration fee from $100 to $110 and now requires lobbyists to inform public officials of the identity of whom the lobbyist is representing at the beginning of a lobbying communication.

 

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March 14, 2014 •

Utah Legislature Adjourns 2014 Session

The Utah Legislature adjourned its 2014 session sine die on March 13, 2014. Governor Gary Herbert has until April 2 to veto or sign legislation. The Governor does not possess a pocket veto. May 12 is the last day a […]

Utah's Capitol Hill

The Utah Legislature adjourned its 2014 session sine die on March 13, 2014.

Governor Gary Herbert has until April 2 to veto or sign legislation. The Governor does not possess a pocket veto. May 12 is the last day a veto-override session may begin.

The normal effective date for bills passed this year is May 13.

Photo of the Utah State Capitol by Scott Catron on Wikimedia Commons.

 

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January 23, 2014 •

Gift Policy for Utah OLRGC Updated

The gift policy for the Utah Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel has been updated. In the revised Policies and Procedures Manual, gifts having a value over $5 are prohibited. Some gifts are permitted within limited exceptions, including gifts […]

Utah State Capitol

The gift policy for the Utah Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel has been updated. In the revised Policies and Procedures Manual, gifts having a value over $5 are prohibited. Some gifts are permitted within limited exceptions, including gifts not associated with the employee’s position or duties within the office. Additionally, the policy delineates what are permissible expenses for meals, tickets, reimbursements, and gifts when an employee attends a conference, seminar, training session, meeting, site visit, or other similar gathering connected with the employee’s employment.

Photo of the Utah State Capitol courtesy of Robert Cutts on Wikimedia Commons.

 

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October 18, 2013 •

Utah Legislature Adjourns One-Day Special Session

October 16

Utah's CapitolOn October 16, the Utah Legislature adjourned its one-day special session sine die. The Legislature passed bills authorizing state funds to open and operate national parks, monuments, and recreation areas, to cover the benefits of certain unpaid furloughed employees, and to offset obligations caused by delays in federal funding to the Child Nutrition Program. Gov. Gary Herbert signed the bills Wednesday night.

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October 14, 2013 •

UT Special Session Called

October 16

Utah Governor Gary Herbert
Gov. Gary Herbert

On Friday, October 11, Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert issued a proclamation convening a special session for the Legislature on October 16.

During this session the Legislature is expected authorize the appropriation of the use of state funds to open and operate national parks, national monuments, and national recreation areas; to offset obligations caused by delays in federal funding to the Child Nutrition Program; and to cover the benefits of certain unpaid furloughed federal employees. The Senate will also consider appointments made by the governor.

Herbert stated in his press release, “Issues related to the federal shutdown necessitate immediate action by our State Legislature. We can no longer wait.”

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July 18, 2013 •

Utah Special Session Adjourns

One-Day Session

Utah's CapitolYesterday, the Utah Legislature adjourned its one-day special session sine die.

The session had been called by Governor Gary R. Herbert to clarify issues concerning the newly created House committee investigating Attorney General John Swallow. Swallow has been accused of several ethics violations and is currently being investigated by the FBI.

The House appointed nine members to the committee. The Legislature passed several measures relating to the investigation, included a bill granting the committee subpoena power.

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