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Bill would beef up privatization board

Published March 11, 2013 3:27 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A proposal to beef up a board created to look at privatizing government services that could compete with private businesses passed the House easily Monday.

The bill, HB94S1 is championed by freshman Rep. Keven Stratton, R-Orem, who owns Cascade Golf Center and has previously said public courses hurt his business.

"We're taking steps not only to be wise in the use of the resources … but also to be wise and provident in the creation of those resources," Stratton said. "To me this could be a real game changer."

Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, argued that unregulated free markets make the wealthy even wealthier and nearly crashed the economy.

"I don't believe we've hit the right balance in the country or in Utah in terms of how we treat or how we regulate markets," King said. "I'm suspicious of the knee-jerk reaction we have in our body that anything that favors privatization over regulation is automatically good."

Stratton's measure would add staffing resources to the existing Privatization Policy Board and changes the name to the Free Market Protection and Privatization Board. Previous versions removed public employee representatives from the board, but their positions were restored.

The House approved the bill 54-19, sending it to the Senate.