There is some interesting content in this D-News editorial, but we can't say we buy into its various theses in general. Consider:

"Allowing the people to write laws through the initiative process presents difficulties. We don’t argue for removing this right. But initiatives are not subject to the leveling process of committee hearings, debates, amendments and the ultimate threat of a veto from the governor.

Instead, they allow for an up-or-down public vote on one unvetted solution to a problem. The value of an initiative is that it can express public will on a matter lawmakers have ignored, but lawmakers need to retain the right to tweak laws passed in this manner."

Breaking this down, after everything that's happened the last two years, it seems clear to us that neither the legislature nor the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are great fans of the ballot initiative process, despite a bit of lip service.

As we see it, and admitting it's not the only way to see it, this is at least partly about not trusting a populace which is more representative of the whole state's make up then either its legislature or leading religion to be co-equal partners in the lawmaking process.

As for "not [being] subject to the leveling process of committee hearings, debates, amendments," neither the process which begat HB3001 nor the current special session are shining examples of models of these processes, rather both have been much more closed-door sessions where a small group of political insiders and legislators craft, without real input from some key actively involved stakeholders, long, complex bills which were acted on in a single day by legislators who didn't have time to read the final products.

HB 3001 was also passed in a lame duck session, where up to a third of those voting were retired legislators no longer subject to input from voters.

For an actual model of what this editorial is talking about, you have to go back to 2016 and see how SB 73 passed the State Senate in a fair, open process which went through numerous versions and much floor debate. In a bill which became in fact the basis of Prop 2.

This year's SS had exactly one public hearing, and no real floor debate.

As for "lawmakers need to retain the right to tweak laws passed in this manner," no one is debating that.

But the legislature didn't "tweak" Prop 2, they utterly replaced it in this deeply undemocratic process contrary to the spirit of the state constitution giving the people co-equal power.

As dictionaries note:

"tweak [transitive verb]
1 : to make usually small adjustments in or to, fine tune."

HB 3001 was something like eight times longer than Prop 2. That's waaay "tweaked," no??? 🙄


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