Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Urquhart’s Crazy, Illegal Ideas

Rep. Urquhart made a feeble attempt to appear democratic in his latest post on the voucher saga. It seemed fairly disingenuous. My response follows:

Unfortunately, that cannot happen. You should read Title 20A, Chapter 7 of the code before writing about this; it is pretty clear. HB 148 essentially does not exist until the people vote that it does. The Legislature cannot touch it.

Secondly, if the legislature did this it would not be a referendum; it would be constitutional amendment ratification. The legislature does not submit issues to the voters in any other way. The people can submit laws to the legislature, but the legislature cannot submit simple laws to the people, only constitutional amendments.

Here are some basic ideas:

  • Follow Huntsman’s lead and repeal HB 174 in special OR regular session if HB 148 is repealed.
  • Stop bugging the School Board to do anything until HB 148 is approved by voters, if that happens.
  • Stop participating in lawsuits to stop the democratic process (like the one you are party to now).

    I just wondered: if voucher proponents cared so much about parents being able to afford private schools, maybe they should spend more money on private scholarships instead of political action. I am not saying they do not have a right to such opinion and political action, but it would seem more genuine.


    Jeremy said...

    The relevant statutory language is contained in 20A-7-301.2

    It states: "(2) When a referendum petition has been declared sufficient, the law that is the subject of the petition does not take effect unless and until it is approved by a vote of the people at a regular general election or a statewide special election."

    I am not a lawyer but the language of the statute doesn't seem to disallow the legislature from repealing a law before it is subjected to a referendum ballot. It only states that the law may not take effect until approved in an election.

    Davis Didjeridu said...

    The whole chapter is good reading. I am not a lawyer either, but lawyers have made such statements to me.

    Stacey said...

    If you want to see how the legislature can thwart the democratic process just do a little research on 'term limits' in Utah.

    The people petitioned and inititive to put the issue of term limits on the ballot. The legislature passed a compromise version of term limits that exempted current office holders. So term limits would not take effect until newly elected people had been in office for the specified time. Then the 5 years later (the year before term limits would have effected anyone) they repealed the term limits law.

    Do you think if the people had had their votes counted on term limits and put the law into effect themselves that the legislature would have had the guts to repeal that?

    Lindsey said...

    I agree with the idea about private scholarships instead of this ridiculous campaign for vouchers.