All 4 Utah constitutional amendments head toward passage

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 2 2010 10:00 p.m. MDT

Teri Mauch votes in Salt Lake City Tuesday. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News) Teri Mauch votes in Salt Lake City Tuesday. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Four constitutional amendments received voter approval Tuesday, along with a number of local propositions that will finance public facilities or change the form of government in those communities.

Of the four amendments, Constitutional Amendment A, which extends the secret ballot requirement to labor elections, looked to be approved by a 60 percent to 40 percent margin, according to final but unofficial results.

Amendment B, which passed with 84 percent of the vote, specifies residency requirements for a person appointed to fill a vacancy in the offices of state senator or representative. It also cancels a person's appointment to those offices if the person moves outside of the district it serves. The amendment is being called a "common sense clarification" to existing law.

The third constitutional amendment, Amendment C, also passed with 59 percent of the vote. It provides a property-tax exemption for certain property owned by nonprofit entities if the property is used to irrigate land, provide domestic water or provide water to a public water supplier.

Constitutional Amendment D, which captured 67 percent of the total votes counted, establishes a five-member legislative ethics commission, not including sitting legislators or registered lobbyists, to conduct independent reviews of complaints alleging unethical legislative behavior, including "disorderly conduct," which is specified but not defined in the current Constitution. The Utah Constitution also authorizes the House and Senate, with a two-thirds vote, to expel a member for cause, but the process is not clearly defined.

In Salt Lake County, voters approved a proposition to bond for $15 million to complete construction of the new Utah Museum of Natural History, located in the Research Park area of Salt Lake City.

Voters turned down a proposition to build a new police station in Kaysville; as well as a new aquatic center in Duchesne; and a proposition to bond for parks, trails and green space in West Valley City. It was too early to tell whether voters in Eagle Mountain went for a $7 million aquatic center, as none of the precincts had reported by Tuesday evening.

However, voters approved a tax increase for a new recreation center in Provo; school facilities in Beaver and Daggett counties; and recreational bond in Summit County; as well as the formation of a Granite township.

With 100 percent of the precinct results reported, 52 percent of Cache County voters said they did not want a new library system, while it was still too early to tell whether Hooper's voters chose to move to a six-member council form of government.

Iron County's Brian Head opted to go for a small bond that would make improvements to the public-safety building there.

e-mail: wleonard@desnews.com

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