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Ethics Needs Public Support

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A petition for ethics reform in the Utah Legislature is being circulated throughout the state. The Utah Citizens’ Counsel, a nonpartisan group of 14 concerned senior citizens, urges registered voters to sign the petition.

Because ethics reform has failed to make significant progress in the Legislature, more than 20 former legislators and other community leaders have created Utahns for Ethical Government to develop an initiative process. It will enable a majority of voters at the general election in 2010 to establish limits on amounts individuals and corporations can give to legistative candidates, prohibit retiring lawmakers from becoming paid lobbyists for two years and ban lobbyists gifts to legislators except for light refreshments.

Utah is one of only a handful of states lacking an independent ethics commission. Thus far, our Legislature has been unable to adopt such a commission. The Utah Constitution provides that citizens may legislate through the initiative process, and we strongly believe that when the Legislature fails to act, citizens must assert their right to act to correct bad behavior.

Everyone is urged to sign the ethics reform petition as soon as possible. To place the initiative on the ballot in 2010, at least 95,000 valid signatures must be filed in the Lieutenant governor’s office by next April.

Utah Citizens’ Counsel
Members: Robert Archeleta; Genevieve Atwood (emeritus); Aileen Clyde; Gale Dick; Irene Fisher; David Irvine; Boyer Jarvis; Chase Peterson; Grethe Peterson; Bonner Ritchie; Karl Snow, Emma Lou Thayne, Raymond Uno, Olene Walker