Bob Bernick Jr.'s article in the July 13 issue of the Deseret News indicated that the "ethics" issue has resurfaced, namely, that no longer can lame duck legislators or those who are not returning to the Legislature for the 2009 session for other reasons attend out-of-state conferences. I do not believe most constituents would disagree with this position.
However, one of the significant ethics questions remains: When are the Senate president and House speaker going to assert themselves and take the initiative to curtail gifts from lobbyists to individual legislators? Even the federal government does not allow the open-ended receiving of gifts.
We need fair yet substantive and proscriptive guidelines that will clearly define the limits of gifts and the amounts thereof that can be given to a legislator.I am persuaded that Utah's citizens, regardless of political affiliation, will support such action. Now is the time to prepare for a 2009 enactment that will bring integrity, not continued apathy, into legislator ethics!
Sterling R Provost