SALT LAKE CITY — As expected, lawmakers will hold an override session to reconsider a pair of bills passed by the 2018 Legislature but vetoed by Gov. Gary Herbert that would give the legislative branch more power.
The date for the veto override session has not yet been set but it must begin by May 7. Legislative leaders announced Wednesday they had polled members in both the House and Senate and more than two-thirds supported holding the session.
In issuing the vetoes, the governor raised concerns about the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches of state government.
SB171 would have let the Legislature intervene in lawsuits filed against the state, while HB198 would have required the Utah Attorney General's office to provide legal opinions to lawmakers upon request.
Lawmakers — who had sparred with the governor over the special congressional election he called last year to fill the vacancy left when now former Rep. Jason Chaffetz resigned — overwhelmingly backed both bills.2 comments on this story
Herbert's deputy chief of staff, Paul Edwards, said in a statement it was not surprising lawmakers have chosen to come back into session to review the bills. He said "it was not lost on us" that the bills had strong support.
"Nonetheless, as we have scrutinized these unprecedented measures, we continue to believe that both bills imprudently strain the constitutional balance between the branches of state government," Edwards said.
Last session the Legislature also approved asking voters in November whether they want to amend the Utah Constitution to allow lawmakers to call themselves into special session, something only the governor can do except for a veto override.