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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Restoring the Appropriate Balance of Power

We might recycle the title to this posting. It seems to fit severalof the issues currently before us (SB 156 and SB 70, maybe even SB 170).

This particular blog, however, concerns the bill restoring a piece of the historic balance of power between the Legislature and the Governor’s Office.

Joe Bauman of the Deseret News cut to the heart of the issue at the very end of his article last week. Envirocare has withdrawn its bid to expand their waste facility (good for them!) but the core issue remains.
"My effort at reinstating the constitutional prerogative of the Legislature to override the governor's veto by a two-thirds majority" was not aimed at helping Envirocare, [Senator Stephenson] said.

When he heard Huntsman's statement, Stephenson added, he wondered "how is it possible for the governor to have that much power?"

He learned that the Legislature had abandoned what he called its constitutional prerogative and its constitutional mandate to override a veto. "And," he added, "I think that's wrong."


Anonymous Utah said...

Ric -
You took off my comment asking if this is ethical to work on this site using government computers and on the taxpayers dime

1/31/2006 11:33 AM  
Blogger The Senate Site said...


Your comment is right where you posted it.

The answer to your question is Yes. This site is both ethical and legal and, I hope, extremely valuable to those who want to engage more fully in the legislative process.

1/31/2006 12:27 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

SenateSite. Although I am critical of a lot of what is going on. I think this site is great.

As for ethics, I suspect that pretty much all government press releases, press interviews, meetings with constituents, etc., happen both on governemtn time and on the government dime.

If I came to your office to tell you that I think SB156 is silly, we would be having our chat on a government facility and on government time.

Using a blog for this type of stuff is a very efficient use of government resources.

BTW: sB156 is silly because Amendment 17 is now a part of the Constitution. An Amemendment is not the same as court activism. Having gone through the Amendment process, the Amendment is now legally, morally, and in every way part of the Constitution of America.

An Amendment to the Constitution overrides any justification for a compromise written in the Federalist Papers (which is not a legal document).

The American people found that the dependency between the State Legislatures and the US Senate was really not in the best interest of either the states nor the people. Trying to argue to that we must restore the balances in the Constitution as it was orginally revealved is really silly, because a properly approved Amendment _IS_ part of the Constitution. The Founders were very clear in making sure there was a Amending process. Amendment 17 went through that process. Even a "soft repeal" of Amendment 17 would require a Amendment to the Constitution. I don't see that happening. You are all but guaranteed that a person wanting to run for US Senate will challenge Utah ... wasting a great deal of taxpayer's dollars. Unlike this blog such windmill chasing is a waste of taxpayer's dollars.

1/31/2006 12:52 PM  
Anonymous Diamondback Jack said...

There’s always a “good reason” to destabilize constitutional principles, but we always reap unintended consequences, especially when the original policy was carefully – hopefully very wisely - crafted.

Try to change it back and folks cry out, but that noise is something akin to the fear of a chiropractor. Sometimes you just need an adjustment. It’s always appropriate to restore good policy.

And it feels better afterward.

1/31/2006 4:18 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

DJ, Are you saying that Amendment 17 wasn't wisely crafted?

It really looks to me like people found out that election of Senators by the State Legislature was not the best representation of the people.

Article 51 of the Federalist showed that even the Founders saw such dependencies between branches of government as suspect. SB156 is a fun issue to discuss ... but the justification for it is not that compelling. Quite frankly, I see neither the political parties nor Senatorial candidate wannabees going for it.

The only real argument for SB156 is a vague notion that the Constitution before the Amendment must be part of a greater work than after. That particular argument would not sit well with the experiment in Democracy that the Founders of the Nation were trying to create.

1/31/2006 7:03 PM  
Anonymous The Senate Site said...

Today's Deseret Morning News: Huntsman-opposed N-waste bill advances

2/01/2006 4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Add to the list HJR 17 (Resolution Regarding Judicial Power) and HJR 1 (Resolution Regarding Property Tax on Personal Property) and the title should read "An Insatiable Appetite for the Balance of Power"

2/01/2006 11:20 PM  

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