To: Don Ipson,
Date: Fri Mar 08 03:12:16 MST 2013
I don't understand why our politicians always say they want to hear from us and then when they do hear from us they try to pass legislation to make it even harder for us to speak.
I am adamantly opposed to SB66!
SB66 unconstitutionally deprives citizens the opportunity to exercise their Constitutional right to have any law or ordinance passed by their local government be submitted to voters because it requires:
1- If amended back to original languageas sponsor intends, every precinct be represented equally, an unheard of requirement for referendums or initiative at any level or in any other state.
2 - A public hearing when a referendum has already been certified. Public hearings on any laws, ordinance, land use or taxeshave already been held prior to the referendum!
2 - A fiscal impact statement when our state and other states do not require fiscal impact statements for local referenda and the statement is compiled by the same local governmental body that enacted the law or ordinance.
3 - Legal impact statement when neither Utah nor any other state requires such statements for local referendums, and the statement is prepared by the same local governmental body that enacted the challenged law.
4 - These statements will be placed in the voter information pamphletwith no provision for rebuttal by the citizens, when cities have ample opportunities already to air their side - utility bills, city website, other public meetings, etc.
5 - If sponsors file an appeal to the Utah Supreme Court if they disagree with these statementsit requires the court to presume the statements are accurate; imposes the burden of rebutting the presumption on the sponsor,; requires "clear and convincing evidence" - an extremely high burden; must be filed within 20 days which is impossible in practice since there is no trial or appellate record.
6 - A proposed amendment attempts to have representation by a percentage of those who would be affected by law. Mathematically this is impossible and a data nightmare! For a property tax increase, would only property owners be allowed to sign and vote? What about renters whose rent goes up because the owner pays increased property taxes?
Referendums require boots on the ground effort by citizens. It is no simple task to successfully challenge an existing law! That local governments have been challenged by referendums successfully is no reason to change the rules of the game.
There is nothing wrong with current code regarding referendums. Our code is already restrictiveand in alignment with the other 23 states who provide for referendums in their Constitutions.
None of these changes are simple clarifications - but are direct attempts to silence citizen voices!
Please vote no on SB66.