Senate OKs post-Swallow reforms
By Topher Webb
The Salt Lake TribuneFirst published Mar 12 2014 04:56PM
The Senate and House on Wednesday passed two bills that came out of the House investigation into former Attorney General John Swallow. Both now are on their way to the governor for his signature.
HB394s2, which passed 26-1 in the Senate and the House 73-0, significantly expands reporting of campaign contributions and potential conflicts of interest.
"This is a very, very important piece of legislation. It will govern the way that you conduct yourselves in the future as an elected representative of the people," Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem, said on the Senate floor Tuesday. "It will also govern the way our state officers are governed as we deal with campaigns and campaign accounts."
Sen. Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, said full financial disclosure is preferable to capping campaign contributions because limits just move money under the table. He said it is important for voters to see where contributions are coming from and where the funds are going so they can draw their own conclusions about a candidate.
"It’s up to the people to be informed enough about candidates to look at their campaign disclosure to be able to make a decision," Hillyard said.
The two chambers also passed HB414, which would create civil enforcement of legislative subpoenas and criminal penalties for not complying with a subpoena. The bill also contains a process to challenge such subpoenas.
"It was very clear with our situation with our former attorney general that we needed the authority permitted in the Constitution to the fullest extent … to be able to exercise legislative subpoenas as we investigate, especially in the form of an impeachment investigation," Valentine said.