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Bill to stop lawmakers from earning salaries from PACs advances

Published: Thursday, Feb. 28 2013 9:10 a.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill intended to stop lawmakers from taking a salary from a political action committee was approved unanimously Thursday by the Senate Government Operations and Political Subdivisions Committee.

Sen. Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City, the sponsor of SB231, told the committee he was not aware of any current lawmakers who were being paid from a PAC, though it may have happened in the past.

Vickers said he has "strong beliefs that if we're elected to public office," that office should not be used for monetary gain. The committee passed his bill unanimously. It now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

After the committee hearing, Vickers said he is concerned about PACs created to raise money to elect a lawmaker that are then being used as a source of income while serving, something he said has been a higher profile issue in other states.

Vickers said he hoped his bill would keep Utah lawmakers from engaging what he called an "inappropriate practice" of relying on contributions for income.

"If we're elected to serve," he said, "we serve the people."

Lisa Riley Roche

Twitter: dnewspolitics

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