‘Trib Talk’: Utah lawmakers want you to give them more power

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) Rep. Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, discusses the highly emotional issue of the Draper prison as the five community groups opposing the prison relocation fill the Prison Relocation Commission meeting at the Utah Capitol on Monday, Dec. 22, 2014.

In Utah, lawmakers have 45 days each year to vote on new laws and manage the affairs of state. Beyond that, a special session of the Legislature can be convened only when called by the governor, with debate limited to an agenda the governor controls.

But a proposed amendment to the state’s constitution would change that, giving the Legislature the power to convene itself. If approved by voters in November, the amendment would allow a two-thirds majority of the Utah House and Senate to call a special session at almost any time, to debate and potentially enact law on almost any subject.

On this week’s episode of “Trib Talk,” Utah Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox and House Majority Leader Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, join reporter Benjamin Wood to discuss the arguments for and against Constitutional Amendment C, which could alter the checks and balances between the state’s legislative and executive branches.

“Trib Talk” is produced by Sara Weber with additional editing by Dan Harrie. Comments and feedback can be sent to tribtalk@sltrib.com, or to @bjaminwood or @tribtalk on Twitter.

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Editor’s note: During the recording of this episode, Wilson stated that there was no special session of the Legislature regarding the planned inland port in Northwest Salt Lake City. A special session was held on July 18, during which lawmakers voted on amendments to Utah’s inland port legislation. Asked for clarification, Wilson provided the following statement:

“There were other issues that were being negotiated that were not included in the special session bill passed in July. We did find common ground on many other issues with the governor and those were addressed in July.”