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Utah lawmakers recall and amend controversial records bill for further study

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  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    March 7, 2011 10:54 a.m.

    Not only does this bill cause fear and distrust of our state government, this will reach out and cause difficulties for two prominent figures.
    As the world is aware of the fact that Utah government is largely run by LDS gentlemen, this is going to be a major problem for Mr. Romney and Mr. Huntsman should they choose to run for the Presidency of the United States.
    The public has been criticizing the Obama administration for their hidden agenda.
    Utah has just "one upped" the Democrats with this bill.

  • Milo P Otis West Jordan, UT
    March 7, 2011 11:14 a.m.

    State Legislators are given cell phones and laptops, I believe. If so, any communication on those devises should be available for public inspection and used only for the public business. Legislators are also citizens and should not have to give up their own cell phones or personal laptops for public inspection.

    Like campaign contributions, do NOT co-mingle your personal and public contributions and expenditures. Keep them separate. What you do as a private citizen is your business however; remember that when you chose to run for office, you are living in a bubble. Your lives and even your family lives will be scrutenized. It goes with the territory

  • Happy Valley Hillbilly Alpine, UT
    March 7, 2011 11:58 a.m.

    The reality of this is that if Gov Herbert signs the bill, there is no question it will be challenged in court and most certainly thrown out in short order. Government employees whether elected or hired are just that, employees of the citizens of Utah. They are accountable to us, and to no one else. The people's business as conducted on capital hill is our business and as such is and should be open to public scrutiny. This openness enables the people to be made aware if their state employees are doing the job they are supposed to, or if they are incompetant in their responsibilities and need to be replaced.

  • Lia Sandy, UT
    March 7, 2011 11:59 a.m.

    What "options"?
    He has NO OPTIONS.
    Veto it.

  • Dewey Hewson Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 7, 2011 12:09 p.m.

    If Herbert does not veto this bill, his open disdain for the Utahn people will be complete.

    This is nothing but a blatant attempt by "our" corrupt and "good 'ol boy" Legislature to protect their backroom and shady dealings.

  • MormonDem Provo, UT
    March 7, 2011 12:51 p.m.

    This bill is such an outrage, especially after all the corruption we've seen in the legislature in the last couple of years.

    "Nobody here in the henhouse but us chickens!" says the fox.

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    March 7, 2011 12:58 p.m.

    To veto it would take bravery.

  • Not So Fast Salt Lake City, UT
    March 7, 2011 1:11 p.m.

    So after rushing the bill through, discovering that people are not going to stand for it and politicians will encounter reprocussions of this self-serving legislation, they suddenly decide they need more time.

    I fear that means they will take time to let the anger die down and then have the bill anyway.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    March 7, 2011 1:14 p.m.

    Veto it.

    The claims of:

    Back room dealings
    Shady goverment
    and Chicago style politics...

    has now been voted, and supported by Utah's legislature.

    How sad it is then, that people continue to vote for one party, when that party feels it does not need to report to the people.

  • benlistening Cedar City, UT
    March 7, 2011 1:22 p.m.

    It's great that the voters of Utah are paying attention and reacting to what our legislators are doing.

    We may have to keep a close eye on the redistricting process also. I can see how tempting it may be for the majority party to ensure their own re-elections by manipulating the district boundaries -- again.

    It's important that the media has access to the intentions of our State officials so that we may be quickly and accurately informed.

  • stowaway Salt Lake City, UT
    March 7, 2011 1:31 p.m.

    Now they're going to take the time to study the issue?! I guess things "festered" over the weekend.

  • XelaDave Salem, UT
    March 7, 2011 1:37 p.m.

    Recalled beacuse they have not fully thought it through- and these are the people we entrust with our laws and the ability to think clearly and not react to the whims of the day- very sad- pass a law then think about the implications- that is just what we were hoping for- Patriot Act, No Child Left Behind- just a couple of examples that come to mind- now I expect that at the federal level- I was hoping Utah was better- guess not

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    March 7, 2011 1:45 p.m.

    All this is Corruption and hiding of the truth. Notice how the cockroaches run now that someone switched the light on? Where are you Tea party people on this or because it is backed by Republicans it is ok?

  • legalimmigrant Springville, Utah
    March 7, 2011 1:50 p.m.

    I hope gov Herbert also recalls HB116 'Guest Worker Program Act' or he won't have my support in the next elections.

  • jean22 Bountiful, UT
    March 7, 2011 1:52 p.m.

    They told us last year that they didn't need the Citizens' Ethics Initiatives because the open access to public records would keep them honest. Hmmmmm.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    March 7, 2011 2:15 p.m.

    "legalimmigrant" I've wondered whether the immigration bills are what have brought the desired "secrecy" issues to the forefront. We all know that the amnesty lobbyists are doing THEIR BEST to preserve jobs for unethical employers. Maybe those legislators' would rather texts from the lobbyists DIDN'T SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY!

    Guv: please veto ANY "guest worker" bills. Actual Utah citizens need the jobs! There's also lots of good reasons to veto the records bill!

  • The Authority Richfield, UT
    March 7, 2011 2:21 p.m.

    They are using a jackhammer to tweak something that needs a phillips screwdriver.

    Makes you wonder what they have to hide?

    The cost of an open government is that you have to deal with records requests. Shutting them down by over charging, or out waiting those who ask for the records is opens the door to corruption.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    March 7, 2011 2:31 p.m.

    This bill brought to you by the same party (Republicans) that gave banks 700 billion in bailouts. Thanks Bush and Republican party.

    I am LDS but I don't blindly vote Republican. This bill is lunacy.

  • bp486 None of your business, UT
    March 7, 2011 3:04 p.m.

    Glad the GOP leaders will listen to the Gov (and good decision on his part). Unfortunate they didn't listen to the public last week when they railed this down our throats. They could have focused on more relevant issues with limited remaining time in session.

    As a republican & Utah, thoroughly embarrassing.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    March 7, 2011 3:20 p.m.

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely. I am LDS and proud of it but this is the legislature of the people and not a theocracy. I don't care how many of those legislators are LDS, it doesn't make them perfect.

  • LiquidUte Salt Lake City, UT
    March 7, 2011 3:31 p.m.

    I think the bill shouldn't be pushed back but should be scrapped! This bill is un-American. It reduces government transparancy and enables an already overbearing legislature and their lobbiests. We will be the laughing stock of National news.

    Veto the bill and let the state senators take the heat if they override it. Then, Utahns need to quit submitting a straight "R" ballot and get these Monarchs out of office!

    Please write the governor and tell him how you feel on this Bill. I just did and it serously took 5 minutes. Since they won't let me post the URL, google "write governor Herbert" and you'll get a link for his office.

  • Dewey Hewson Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 7, 2011 4:01 p.m.

    Translation: "We stepped just a tad past the line where we could get away with pushing it through, so we're pulling it until the whole thing blows over and we can try again."

    Still, good for Herbert for threatening the veto.

  • DR Hall Clearfield, UT
    March 7, 2011 4:12 p.m.

    These Republicans are putting back into practice the controlled information that Nixon, Communism has in place to keep the truth and needs of the people from the people. Nazis were about twice as bad as these Republicans are but they are gaining speed. We need officials who don't make excuses but really love America and looks out for Americans and not just for themselves.

  • Dixie Dan Saint George, UT
    March 7, 2011 4:22 p.m.

    Since this bill also would cover Democrats, why aren't they participating in revising this bill?

  • M1 Hurricane, Utah
    March 7, 2011 4:32 p.m.

    This bill (HB477) if not dishonest and corrupt is at least an insult to every honest Utah citizen. I am shocked at this procedure after hoping for a new and honest legislature. I have vowed to NEVER again vote for ANY politician that approves any part of this bill. It is #1 on my list of things to remember next election. I hope others will do the same.

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    March 7, 2011 4:46 p.m.

    It is clear that the public outcry has been heard. I hope we don't forget this issue over the summer. Redistricting is coming up. Keep watch!

  • DeepintheHeart Lewisville, TX
    March 7, 2011 5:31 p.m.

    If this becomes law, there had better be NO complaints from Republicans that Democrats are not in favor of "transparency."

  • Jared Gainesville, FL
    March 7, 2011 6:52 p.m.

    Re: JohnJacob... Actually, the Democrats were in charge on Congress. Pres. Bush went along with the bank bailouts but Congress is in charge of the money and Congress was solidly Democratic, not Republican (I'm not letting Republicans off the hook). I just wanted to make sure that the facts were straight.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    March 7, 2011 7:01 p.m.

    I think there are a few education bills that need to be recalled as well.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    March 7, 2011 7:36 p.m.

    Personally, I asked my State Senator to vote against this bill. Just as soon as I found out about it, I e-mailed him. It was too late because of the "rush" to get it done. And I don't care who reads that e-mail because I documented where I used the GRAMA ACT twice to get information from local government (just three total pages of information) and my result was 0 - 2. If this passes, there's no reason to think it would ever be different. If anything, we need MORE access, not less.

    The citizens need to have the media donate space where this issue can be raised again about two days before the next election with a tally of who voted for it, who encouraged it to be rushed through, who insisted it was "good business for the State" and a summary of those who have since come out against it, along with the reasons the Legislature suddenly recalled it. PLEASE REMEMBER THIS, VOTERS!!

  • Ted H. Midvale, UT
    March 7, 2011 7:38 p.m.

    JohnJacob,

    Are you LDS? I'm glad you told us the second time, because I wasn't clear the first time when you said "I'm LDS." Tell us again. I've realized that half of the time when someone claims they are something on these boards they are not that thing.

  • Nicky Gee Farmington, Utah
    March 7, 2011 8:28 p.m.

    EVERY legislator who voted for the bill should be taken to task for their vote for it!!!

    I guess when the 'fishing' expedition revealed legislators get 95% of their campaign contributions from Special Interests and only 5% from their constituents, I guess it touched a nerve.

    DEMOCRATS - THANK YOU FOR STANDING UP FOR THE RIGHTS OF THE PEOPLE IN UTAH TO HAVE OPENNESS IN GOVERNMENT!!!!

  • MR Draper, UT
    March 7, 2011 8:57 p.m.

    I am as conservative as they come and am glad they made the right call on pulling this one. Dumb trying to push it through like Obamacare. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. We don't needy pass it to find out what is in it. Do the right thing. You definitely have to explain your voting record now. We are intelligent and don't need the paternalism of our elected leaders. We (the constiuents on both sides of the isle) don't want a corrupt government and want to know what business you are doig and with whom you do it. It goes both ways.

  • MormonDem Provo, UT
    March 7, 2011 10:57 p.m.

    I hope this will make moderate Republicans in Utah realize the danger of an overwhelming one-party system. As can be clearly seen in the last couple of years, one-party rule rewards ideological extremism, secrecy, and corruption.

    The fact is, most democratic candidates in Utah for state house and senate are very moderate Democrats (and in fact many are moderate Republicans who have been shunned by the extremists in their party). They often have views that, like those of most Utahns, tack towards centrism and moderation rather than extremism and party-first attitudes.

    Perhaps most importantly, democratic candidates in Utah do not take their constituents for granted! They know they have to listen to prove their dedication to public service.

    It would serve our state well to have more balance in the legislature. Then the GOP would have these "what was I thinking?!" bills, like the food tax, the HB477 debacle, etc. Wake up, Utahns! Show your GOP state Rep or Senator that he has to earn your vote by considering the moderate Democrat running against him!!!

  • benlistening Cedar City, UT
    March 7, 2011 11:36 p.m.

    HB477 imprementation has been pushed back to July 1 by the Utah Legislators.

    Fortunately, the media will be very interested in how this bill is being revised and will undoubtedly keep us informed of it's progress.

    Some of the previous comments have been curious as to what party is responsible for most of the votes that actually passed this bill into a veto-proof position on March 4.

    Below is a breakdown per a listing of the Utah Senators and Representatives who voted for this bill

    In the Senate, a total of 21 Senators voted for this bill:
    20 Republicans voted for this bill, and
    1 Democrat voted for this bill.

    In the House, 61 voted Yea:
    56 Republicans voted Yea, and
    5 Democrats voted Yea.

    In the Senate, 1 Republican (Sen. Buttars) voted No, and
    4 Democrats (Sen. Morgan, Romero, Mayne, and Jones) voted No.

    In the House, 2 Republicans voted No, and
    12 Democrats voted No.

    The time for a one-party system has come to an end. I know how I'm going to vote next time.

  • Utahwoody Salt Lake City, UT
    March 8, 2011 12:50 a.m.

    Also, my Senator -- Luz Robles (Democrat) voted NO

  • Furry1993 Somewhere in Utah, UT
    March 8, 2011 5:24 a.m.

    This bill should be scrapped, and nothing similar should ever take its place.

    That being said, we need to be sure that this isn't hidden until the furror dies down, and then gets passed sub rosa as part of one of the supplementary sessions the legislature will be having. We need to be vigilent to make sure this type of thing NEVER comes into force and effect, and hold accountable anyone who voted for it.

  • Red Smith American Fork, UT
    March 8, 2011 6:03 a.m.

    Give Utah the gift of a gift ban to all legislators as fast as the anti-grama bill was passed.

  • OneAmerican Idaho Falls, ID
    March 8, 2011 6:38 a.m.

    Fees to cover costs...read as "charge enough and they won't bother asking."

  • CWJ Layton, UT
    March 8, 2011 6:52 a.m.

    Considering that the majority of our State Legislature is LDS, maybe it would do them some good to reread D&C 121. Something about unrighteous dominion by those who assume a little authority. As a voter, this is very disturbing to say the least, and I/we expect better out of our elected officials. A sad state of the State indeed.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    March 8, 2011 7:00 a.m.

    The Republicans are acting like the Democrats in Congress. Shoving junk like this down our throats without discussion. The government should be open and accessable. If the legislature can't stand the scrutiny, then they should leave office.

  • Kitenoa Salt Lake City, UT
    March 8, 2011 7:49 a.m.

    When it comes down to the business of the people of Utah, access to legitimate information is a good practice, transparency is reassuring, and reduced risks for corruption is a good thing. A prominent Republican once said. "TRUST BUT VERIFY".

    What has the legislators got to hide from the citizens and people of Utah?

  • Seat at the Table Provo, UT
    March 8, 2011 8:40 a.m.

    I can't believe it! I actually agree with Buttars on something.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    March 8, 2011 10:06 a.m.

    "We're listening to the constituents,..."

    No, you are not listening. We want OPEN records not this abomination of a bill. Government works for the people (or it is supposted to anyway). YOU report to US, not the other way around.

  • Considering Stockton, UT
    March 8, 2011 12:40 p.m.

    I haven't read HB 477 and so can't offer an informed opinion on it specifically.

    But I do believe that certain things should be kept private. Most notably, if a constituent speaks with her legislator that conversation and the details in it should not be considered a public record. I think is true whether the conversation takes place in person, over the phone, via a text message, or in an email. If State law does not already allow these kinds of communications to be kept private, the law should be changed. It the law does protect these communications, then I'm not sure any other changes are needed.

    That all said, I wonder how many here with very strong opinions have actually read the bill and KNOW for themselves what it does or doesn't do. I freely admit I haven't read it (yet). How many others have? Or is everyone relying on the media accounts on which to base an opinion?

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington DC, MD
    March 8, 2011 12:45 p.m.

    This is what happens when people blindly vote republican or democrat. Tyranny happens.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 8, 2011 2:24 p.m.

    Curious.....

    RedShirt, Mike Richards, Voice of Reason, KM, Uncle Charles, and so many other daily Ulta-Nationalist, Conservative "Constitutionalist" commentors have laid ever so quietly about HB477.

    Here's an old saying --

    Silence is Consent.

    ...

  • Miss Piggie Nuevo Leon, Mexico
    March 8, 2011 3:00 p.m.

    @Milo P Otis: "Legislators are also citizens and should not have to give up their own cell phones or personal laptops for public inspection."

    If they are conducting public business on their cell phones and laptops these communication devises should not be off limits. After all, there certainly must be delete buttons on them.

  • 22ozn44ozglass Southern Utah, UT
    March 8, 2011 5:14 p.m.

    JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt:

    "This bill brought to you by the same party (Republicans) that gave banks 700 billion in bailouts. Thanks Bush and Republican party"

    The constitution is very plain on this matter. The president can only sign into law legislation that has been drawn up and passed by Congress. If Congress does not pass the Emergency Economic Stabilizaion ACT of 2008, Bush could not sign it.

    While Bush made plenty of mistakes and was not the smartest president we have had, you can neither solely blame or credit Bush for TARP. I would suggest that you start reading the congressional record. For example 40 democrats including Obama himself, Harry Ried and Hillary Clinton all voted for TARP. Only 9 Dem senators voted against TARP 2008. The senate version was co-sponsored by none other than Harry Ried and Robert Byrd.

    There are enough legislators from both parties who helped TARP 2008 pass. Your focus and compulsion to blame Bush for TARP gives Obama, Ried, and Clinton carte blanche immunity for their role in this act.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 25, 2011 1:08 p.m.

    Why did Herbert pressure the legislature into recalling the bill instead of just vetoing it? Were these potentially veto over-riding majorities that passed the bill?

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 25, 2011 1:13 p.m.

    NFIS totally mis-characterizes the government of Utah. Considering that Becky Lockhart is the speaker of the Utah House it is time for people to stop lambasting Utah's leadership as male. It is also time for people to stop acting like religious uniformity should be counted as the defining characteristic of a group of politicians.

    Many of the most vocal enemies of the bill, such as Joel Campbell, are also Latter-day Saints. The attempt to insinuate that there is a connection between religion and one side of this bill is the type of stupid injection of religion into politics that is one of the causes of Utah being as one-party in its politics as it is.

    If the Democrats would learn to stop lashing out at Republican actions in Utah as advancing Mormonism or characteristic of what Mormons stand for, they would majorly increase their chances of election. Every time they mockingly refer to "conservative Mormons" as supporting anything, they are killing their electoral chances.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 25, 2011 1:18 p.m.

    Pagan,
    Who finds raping children to be funny has the audacity to attack people for wanting to limit the amount of money that the government has to shell out in meeting overly broad searches of documents.

    I disagree with this bill, but evil men like Pagan need to be exposed in their hypocracy.

    I think that Herbert's tactics were best here. His veto would have been a senseless act of martyrdom, and would have ignored the fact that the current conditions of communication are not the ones the original law was written for.

    It is better to have a workable bill, than an unneccesarily repressive one. Beyond that, Herbert maintains the right to veto later, when the realization of how widely this bill is opposed may have swayed more opinions. He has not signed the law.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 25, 2011 1:28 p.m.

    It is interesting, for all the attacks on Christ Buttars elsewhere, when he votes against a law like he did here, no one points out that this shows that it is important to have principaled legislators who consistently hold to their principals instead of having centrists moderates who seek ways to advance their careers.

    It is people who really believe in principals who are needed to stand against such things as this. Thus Buttars, as a strong believer in his principals, stands up against this while other members of the party in power have a weaker belief in principal and do little.

    The fact of the matter is that things would go a lot better if people let go of much of the hateful invective in political discourse. They would also improve if people did not try to score political advantage at every turn.

    Most of the calls for not trying to link religion and politics ring hallow because they come from people who have claimed that those who hold the other view from them on health care reform are inherently evil.

    I for one, think that a persuasive moral argument can be made on either side.