Republicans and Democrats in both the House and the Senate say they have overwhelming support to override a threatened veto by Gov. Norm Bangerter of two bills that would restrict the ability of state bureaucrats to make rules.
In a Friday press conference, bipartisan leadership in both bodies pledged support for the override."It's not our intention to pick a fight with the governor," said Senate Majority Leader Cary Petersen, R-Nephi. "We feel very strongly that non-elected, appointed officials shouldn't be writing statutes."
Under the provisions of HB154 and HB142, the Legislature would retain the right to review and veto any rule or regulation imposed by a state agency or department.
There have been cases, lawmakers say, when the Legislature rejected proposals only discover later they had became rules through administrative action. Lawmakers say the lawmaking has shifted from the Legislature to the Executive Branch, and the intent of both bills is to correct that shift.
"It boils down to whether directors make the laws or the Legislature makes the law," said Sen. Minority Whip Eldon Money, D-Spanish Fork.
"And these bills would return the lawmaking process to the people through their elected representatives," added the bills' sponsor, House Majority Whip Byron Harward, R-Provo.
- Sen. Bill Barton, R-West Valley City, wants to bar state employees, local government employees and public teachers from campaigning for public office and from serving in their governments.
"We call the bill I introduced today the Little Hatch Act," said Barton, referring to the federal law banning federal employees from political activity. "We just feel that public employees have an inherent conflict of interest, they shouldn't serve in office, they shouldn't campaign for those who do serve in office."
Two House members, Reps. Janet Rose, D-Salt Lake; and Mont Evans, R-Riverton, would be banned from serving in the Legislature under the bill. They're both state employees. Barton said he may amend the bill to allow public education teachers to serve in office, for they have for years.
"Bill Barton hates the public sector, hates public employees and this is his attempt to make them second-class citizens," said House Minority Whip Frank Pignanelli, D-Salt Lake.