Legislators launch new fight over vetoed bill on filling congressional vacancies


FILE – Members of the Senate gather at the State Capitol in Salt Lake City for a special session on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. Lawmakers took the first step Wednesday towards coming up with an alternative to a bill vetoed by Gov. Gary Herbert that would have emphasized speed over participation in filling unexpected congressional vacancies.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Lawmakers took the first step Wednesday toward coming up with an alternative to a bill vetoed by Gov. Gary Herbert that would have emphasized speed over participation in filling unexpected congressional vacancies.

Members of the Legislature’s Government Operations Interim Committee voted unanimously to open a bill file at their first meeting during the break between annual legislative sessions.

But that’s as far as the committee got on an issue that has caused friction between legislators and the governor since 2017, when then-Rep. Jason Chaffetz resigned his 3rd Congressional District seat and Herbert set up the special election to replace him.

That election included allowing candidates to gather voter signatures for a place on the primary ballot as an alternative to the traditional caucus and convention system used by political parties.

SB123, sponsored by Sen. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, abbreviated the governor’s process by eliminating the signature-gathering alternative that had been at the center of the Utah GOP’s unsuccessful yearslong legal battle with the state.

Herbert said in his veto letter that the bill “signficantly” limited voter participation. Legislative leaders were unable to muster the two-thirds support needed in both the House and Senate to override the veto by the May 13 deadline.

Now lawmakers and the governor’s office, along with county clerks, political parties and others are working on a new bill for the 2020 session that begins in late January.

“At the end of the day, this is something …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News

      

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