SALT LAKE CITY — A legislative proposal seeking to bury information about most public employees' salaries under a veil of anonymity will now be studied by lawmakers this summer.

HB266, sponsored by Rep. Kraig Powell, R-Heber City, would maintain public access to specific earnings information, listed by name, on elected and appointed officialsofficials, but all other civil servicecivil-service positions would only contain a generic job title with a salary range.

The move would undo current statue,statute, established in the late 1990s, that maintains by name complete public access to how much all public employees'employees are paid, access that Powell said raised issues with one of his Wasatch County constituents.

Both Powell,Powell and Rep. Craig Frank, R-Cedar Hills, made note in a Thursday morning hearing before the House Government Operations Standing Committee that now would be a good time to keep the issue out of media scrutiny, a possible reference to the bill's aim to reduce government transparency. That intent is inconsistent with a suite of ethics bills working their way through the Legislature this session targeting, in part, a higher level of openness.

HB266 will now return to the House Rules CommitteeCommittee, where it will likely be scheduled for interim study.

See theThe bill may be read online at le.utah.gov/~2010/htmdoc/hbillhtm/HB0266S01.htm

— Arthur Raymond