State lawmakers might soon be allowed to participate in interim committee meetings via telephone, video conferencing, or other electronic means.
A resolution tentatively passed the Senate to allow electronic participation in the interim meetings. Under SJR7, two legislators per committee could participate remotely, but would need to get permission from the Senate President or House Speaker, as well as their committee chair.
The legislators would need to be at least 50 miles away from the Capitol in order to participate in meetings electronically.
"For some of us, we live some distance away," said Sen. Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, the resolution's sponsor. "Quite often, all we hear are presentations of information. It's worthwhile to come, but if I listen as it's being presented, it's just as well."
Senators who spoke against the measure said they worried lawmakers who participated electronically would miss valuable information presented in committee.
"I just think that the commitments we have to the people up here are important and we miss things by video conferencing," said Sen. Ross Romero, D-Salt Lake City.