The anticipated fight between Republican Gov. Norm Bangerter and the GOP-dominated Legislature over state rulemaking will happen after all.
Wednesday, the Senate gave preliminary approval to two House bills that would limit Bangerter's rulemaking authority. The governor vows to veto the bills. Senators passed HB154 by 20-8 vote and HB142 passed 19-8. Senators will likely give final approval to both bills Thursday and send them to the governor.Bangerter will veto them, said chief of staff Bud Scruggs. The bills with then return for a two-thirds veto override vote in each house. The House will likely override the vetos - the bills passed there 67-2.
But the veto will likely be upheld in the Senate, Scruggs believes. It takes 21 votes to override a veto in the 29-member Senate. If the governor gets 10 votes against the measures, his veto will hold. Eight senators voted against them Wednesday; two voted yes but said they have reservations about the bills. One senator was absent. "We'll get our 10 votes, I believe," said Scruggs.
HB154 restricts the executive branch's rulemaking power. HB142 allows the Legislature to repeal any rule it doesn't like. Bangerter claims both have constitutional problems. Scruggs says the governor has worked to modify any rule lawmakers don't like, and the measures aren't necessary. But Sen. LeRay McAllister, R-Provo, says more rules are made each year than laws, and the Legislature has to take back the power of lawmaking (which rules really are).