State of the Debate

Debate: We said, Veto, veto, veto. He said, Yes, no, no ...

First Published      Last Updated Mar 29 2017 01:24 pm

The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board last month urged Utah Gov. Gary Herbert to veto a bill, passed in the recent session of the Legislature, that would remove a cap on the number of people from any one political party (i.e., Republicans) on various state boards and commissions. This week, he did just that.

Then he ignored the advice of one of those same bodies, the Air Quality Board, (and another Tribune editorial) by signing a bill that prohibits the state from making any rules against starting wood fires, even on red air days, as long as the supposed purpose of the fire is to cook something.

He also ignored the suggestion of the Tribune, and others, and signed a controversial bill to lower Utah's acceptable blood alcohol content to the tightest in the nation.

Guess the old veto pen only has so much ink in it.

Herbert should veto bill designed to stack state boards with Republicans — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial, Feb. 22

"As difficult as it may be for all the members of the Utah Legislature to grasp, the fact is that there are a great many smart, industrious people in this state who are neither Republicans nor Democrats.

"One way for the state to tap more of that independent brain power would be for Gov. Gary Herbert to veto a bill recently passed by the Legislature, the one that has been rightly portrayed as an effort to stack state boards and commissions with more Republicans than the law now allows...."

Guv vetoes bill that could have cut Democrats out of state boards — Lee Davidson | The Salt Lake Tribune, March 24

"Gov. Gary Herbert vetoed his first bill of the 2017 Legislature on Friday — a controversial one that would have removed the requirement to appoint at least some Democrats to dozens of state boards and commissions. ..."

Herbert's veto of bad bill means good people must step up — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial, March 29

"Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican if ever there was one, has gone to some pains to do the few Democrats and many unaffiliated voters of Utah a big favor. It is a gesture that should be reciprocated.

"The governor vetoed House Bill 11. ...

" ... But if the veto sticks, as it should, Herbert is left with the same problem he had before — finding enough people to fill out the various panels without going back to the same old Republican well.

"Utahns who are of a public-spirited bent, but who may feel left out because they aren't Republicans, now owe Herbert an active kind of thanks. It's time for more Democrats and, especially, more of the large and growing pool of unaffiliated voters, to step up and volunteer for those positions. ..."


Herbert should veto wood-cooking bill — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial, March 9

" ... If approved, HB65 would prohibit any regulation of wood burning if its purpose is to cook food. It would apply to residents and to restaurants, meaning that, even on 'red' days when children and the elderly are threatened by particulate pollution, there could be no limits put on smokers and grillers.

"There are hundreds of thousands of sources of air pollution in the valley, and people cooking with smoke probably only number in the hundreds. But they can be among the heaviest producers. If you live near a wood-fired restaurant, it can affect your health even if you never venture in for a rack of ribs. It is, in a very real sense, second-hand smoke.

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