Utah voters might be surprised to know that there are two proposals on the November ballot to amend the State Constitution.
To date, the controversy that has swirled around the initiative to remove the sales tax on food has garnered most of the non-candidate election discussion and debate.The two constitutional propositions are not controversial:.
Proposition 1 would amend the State Constitution to allow counties, cities and towns to establish special districts to provide health-care services. The Constitution presently allows only hospitals to be financed through special service districts. Supporters point out that hospitals may not always be the most effective way to provide health care services in some of the rural areas of the state. By replacing the word hospital with health care in the Constitution, local areas would have other options and more flexibility in meeting health care needs throughout the state, they argue.
Proposition 2 would allow the Legislature to adopt measures to ensure the continuity of government operations when these functions are seriously disrupted by natural or man-made disasters. At the present time, the Constitution allows such emergency powers to be invoked only in the case of a disaster caused by an enemy attack.
Supporters contend that the change is needed to ensure good management planning, effective management of disasters when they occur, and a quick return to normalcy after the disaster has been abated. They observe that the present wording does not give the Legislature power to react to such serious disasters as earthquakes, floods, fires, radiation leaks or other natural or man-caused calamities.
While there does not appear to be any organized opposition to the propositions and they appear to have merit, voters should be prepared to make an informed decision in November.