July 15, 2013 •

Utah Special Session Called by Governor

July 17

Gov. Gary Herbert
Gov. Gary Herbert

Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert has called a special session for the Legislature to be held on July 17, 2013.

The issues planned to be addressed are possible changes to legislative subpoenas, immunity statutes, the unauthorized practice of law, and provisions governing the work of legislative investigative committees. Specifically, Herbert anticipates the session will help clarify issues concerning the newly created House committee investigating Attorney General John Swallow, according to the Deseret News.

The governor also hopes for the Senate to consent to some appointments made by him. In his press release, Herbert said, “These are timely issues that should be appropriately addressed by the Legislature on their regularly scheduled July interim day to ensure a more thorough and efficient legislative process.”

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June 21, 2013 •

Utah House to Hold Additional Session for Investigation of Attorney General

July 3

Seal of UtahThe Utah House of Representatives will hold an extraordinary session on July 3, 2013. The purpose of the session is to begin a House investigation of Attorney General John Swallow. Swallow has been accused of several ethics violations and is currently being investigated by the FBI.

According to a Brigham Young University poll cited by The Salt Lake Tribune, nearly 80 percent of Utah citizens want Swallow to resign, and over 71 percent would support impeachment proceedings.

The House will meet to assemble a special investigative committee and establish the committee’s rules and scope. The session is expected to last one day. If grounds for impeachment are found, another special session will likely be called.

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March 15, 2013 •

Utah Legislature Adjourns

March 14, 2013

Utah's CapitolThe Utah Legislature adjourned its 2013 session sine die on March 14, 2013.

Governor Gary Herbert has until April 3 to veto or sign legislation. The Governor does not possess a pocket veto.

The normal effective date for bills passed this year is May 14.

Photo of Utah’s Capitol by Scott Catron on Wikipedia.

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April 2, 2012 •

Lobbying News Roundup

Keep up with the latest lobbying news:

lobbyingFederal: “Trade group CEOs enjoy hefty pay raises in a sluggish economy” by William McQuillen and Danielle Ivory in The Washington Post.

Federal: “GAO: Lobbyist disclosure compliance ‘similar’ compared to prior years” by Rachel Leven in The Hill.

Federal: “Calif. biotech firms spend $40 million on lobbying in 3 years” by Bernice Yeung on CaliforniaWatch.org.

Federal: “Tech companies new lobbying force in DC” by Garrett Sloane in the New York Post.

New Jersey: “Some of Christie’s biggest bills match model legislation from D.C. group called ALEC” by Salvador Rizzo in the Star-Ledger.

Utah: “Rolly: Lobbyist and legislator in one? Could happen” by Paul Rolly in the Salt Lake Tribune.

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March 9, 2012 •

Legislative Session News

Five state legislatures report end to sessions

United StatesARKANSAS: The fiscal session of the Arkansas General Assembly adjourned at noon on Friday, March 9, 2012.

OREGON: The Oregon Legislative Assembly has adjourned sine die for the 2012 regular session on March 5.

UTAH: The 2012 general session of the Utah State Legislature adjourned sine die on March 8, ending on its 45th day, the last permitted by the Constitution for annual general sessions. Governor Gary Herbert has until March 28 to sign or veto bills presented to him by the legislature.

WASHINGTON: The 2012 regular session of the Washington State Legislature adjourned sine die on March 8, 2012. Governor Gregoire has called for a special session to begin on March 12, 2012 to address a supplemental budget plan.

WYOMING: The State of Wyoming Legislature adjourned sine die on March 8. Governor Matt Mead has until March 26 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

Many thanks to our terrific Research Department for this update!

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February 28, 2012 •

Utah Bill to Deal with Anonymous Contributions

Over $50

Seal of UtahUtah Representative Kraig Powell has introduced a bill prohibiting anonymous cash contributions over $50 and requiring forfeiture of the contributions.

As written in HB 493, anonymous contributions over $50 to state and local candidates must be given to the governmental entity where the position the candidate is pursuing exists, such as to a school district’s general fund for a local school board candidate. Other beneficiaries of the anonymous political donations over $50 would be the state’s general fund, and county and municipality general funds.

Reporting by the candidates of the transferred anonymous contribution would not be required.

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September 29, 2011 •

Utah Special Session October 3

Governor Issues Proclamation

Utah Governor Gary HerbertUtah Governor Gary R. Herbert has signed a proclamation to officially convene a special session of the Utah Legislature on Monday, October 3.

The Governor had earlier announced the date, but the proclamation formally outlines the purpose for the special session with seven legislative issues, including adding the presidential primary to the regular primary ballot, redistricting, and making changes to the workers’ compensation insurance requirements.

The Governor’s press release can be found here.

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August 26, 2011 •

Report Problems to Your City From Your Smart Phone

Salt Lake City 311 App Allows Citizens to Make Reports From Their Phones

Iphone with appsA new 311 smart phone app for Salt Lake City, Utah allows a citizen to take a geo-coded picture with his or her smartphone and enter more detailed information about the problem. In response to the citizen’s entry, a real-time case is created that’s sent directly to the staff person who will handle the situation.

According to this article on GovTech, the app called Salt Lake City 311 transmits the request to the city’s GIS database, which then provides an address match for the city responder to answer the notification personally, with no middleman in between.

This app streamlines the process of fieldworkers responding to calls, as well as creating a convenient and easy way for everyday citizens to report problems.

This kind of 311 app is something that is likely to be seen in many other municipalities across the nation in the near future.

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July 21, 2011 •

Utah Special Session Adjourns

Amendment Resolution Passed

Utah State CapitolThe special session of the Utah Legislature adjourned after one day, as expected.

Several items were passed including a resolution calling for a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Photo of the Utah State Capitol by BigBen212 on Wikipedia.

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July 19, 2011 •

Utah Special Session Tomorrow

One Day

Utah Governor Gary HerbertUtah Governor Gary Herbert has called a special session of the State Legislature for July 20. It is expected to last only one day.

“The items on the call are generally minor housekeeping items, some of which are time-sensitive,” the Governor is quoted as saying in his press release.

Photo of Governor Gary Herbert courtesy of Gw.hajduk on Wikipedia.

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March 1, 2011 •

Utah Bill Allows for Contributions During Sessions

Limited to Federal Office Seekers

Rep. Keith Grover

Representative Keith Grover has introduced a bill allowing for some campaign contributions to be made during legislative sessions. HB 395 allows for accepting a campaign contribution when the Legislature is in session for an official who is a candidate for federal elective office. The contribution must be placed in a separate account specifically designated for the candidate’s campaign account for federal office.

Currently, no contributions may be made when the Legislature is convened in an annual general session, veto override session, or a special session convened before July 1st of a general election year.

Photo of Rep. Keith Grover courtesy of the Utah House of Representatives website.

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February 18, 2011 •

Utah Bill Requires Lobbyist Training

Also To Be Available to Public

Utah Senator Michael Waddoups

Senator Michael G. Waddoups introduced a bill mandating training for all registered lobbyists. SB 251 requires the lieutenant governor to develop and maintain a training course for lobbyists and make the training available on the internet to both lobbyists and the public. The bill also includes a component to help lobbyists understand state campaign finance requirements.

Lobbyists would be required to complete the training course once a year. A lobbyist who does not complete the training required could face a $1,000 fine and suspension of their lobbying license.

Photo of Senator Waddoups courtesy of the Utah Senate Web site.

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February 16, 2011 •

Utah House Ethics Committee Defeats Contribution Limits

Less Than A Week To Decide

The House Ethics Committee voted 5-3 against HB 0164, a bill imposing campaign contributions limits. Representative Rebecca Chaves-Houch had formerly introduced the legislation only four days earlier.

Utah presently has no limits to the amounts one can contribute to candidates for state offices. The bill caps contributions to $5,000 for legislative candidates, $10,000 for gubernatorial candidates, and $10,000 to state PACs.

Representative Chaves-Houch intends on reintroducing some version of the bill, possibly next year.

This post follows up a previous article by George Ticoras called “Putting Limits on Utah Contributions” from February 8, 2011.

Photo by Scott Catron on Wikipedia.

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February 8, 2011 •

Putting Limits On Utah Contributions

Statewide Candidates’ Amounts Set

Representative Rebecca Chaves-Houch introduced House Bill 0164 limiting political contributions to statewide candidates for office. Presently, there are no limits to the amounts one can contribute to candidates for state offices in Utah.

The bill’s provisions include caps on donations by individual contributors to $5,000 for legislative candidates, $10,000 for gubernatorial candidates, and $10,000 to state PACs.

The bill does not address corporate contributions to candidates, which Utah permits. If passed, the limits would take effect on January 1, 2013.

Photo of the Utah State Capitol Building by Sean Breazeal (Talshiarr) on Wikipedia.

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