SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Voters passed three ballot initiatives on Election Night, and now some changes to the overall process are in the works.
Four bills are addressing the issue during this year’s legislative session.
2018 was the year of the ballot initiative. Voters approved medical marijuana, Medicaid expansion, and an independent redistricting commission.
“This year there’s kind of this initiative shock, and so, there’s a number of initiative bills,” said Representative Brad Daw, (R) Orem.
One of those bills Daw is running would delay implementation dates. Under his bill, a ballot initiative would become law after the following legislative session, just like other bills that pass during that session.
“That gives the legislature time to go through and fix those contradictions and take care of any funding issues, anything like that,” said Daw.
Another bill he’s running addresses municipal initiatives. It requires any court disputes to take place before signature gathering can begin.
He points to the Cottonwood Mall development, which wasn’t resolved in the courts until after the vote.
“Which is ridiculous to me. I mean, those kinds of issues need to be litigated and decided before signature gathering begins, and my bill specifically calls out that that needs to happen.”
Representative Norm Thurston is also taking on the issue. His bill would align the signature gathering and removal process.
“My bill would create a level playing field with all the participants in the signature gathering process. So, that we have a more transparent process and everybody knows where they stand and what they need to be able to do to be successful with whichever side of the bill you happen to be on,” said Thurston, (R) Provo.
Representative Steve Handy also has a bill to modify the signature threshold. As it’s written now, it would increase the required signatures, but he says he’s working on it because his goal is to do the opposite.