State lawmakers are considering changes to the ballot initiative process

Local News

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.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 News at 5 and 6, Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...

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