Monday, February 14, 2011

S.B. 55 author won’t comment on his own bill

Utah State Senator Steve Urquhart, author of S.B. 55, which would reverse the Utah Supreme Court’s decision allowing independent gubernatorial candidates to get on the ballot by collecting petition signatures electronically, today declined to comment on his plans for his bill.

The legislation had been scheduled for a hearing in the Utah State Senate Business and Labor Committee on February 3, 2011, but, according to minutes of that meeting, “Chair Valentine called the meeting to order at 2:44 p.m. and announced that at the requests of the sponsors, S.B. 109 and S.B. 55, would not be considered at today's meeting.”

The sponsor of S.B. 55, Senator Urquhart, finally responded to repeated requests for comments on his plans for this legislation by saying today, through a spokesperson, that he would have no comment.

The bill has been re-scheduled for a hearing tomorrow, in the Business and Labor Committee, according to a published agenda of that committee. The hearing is scheduled for 4:00 pm MST in at 215 Senate Building, Utah State Capitol Complex.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Utah is opposed to this bill.

It is also opposed by Utah attorney Brent Manning, who argued the original case giving independent gubernatorial candidates the right to collect electronic signatures on their ballot access petitions. Manning said that the bill was "improperly motivated" and that it would “absolutely compromise commerce and the government in Utah.”

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