Letter: Sen. Adams says there’s been a change in public sentiment on vouchers. Let’s vote on it, then.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Senate President Stuart Adams, R-Layton, is shown with his wife Susan by his side, on the opening day of the Utah Legislative Session, on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023.

Can someone please tell me the point of the referendum process in the Utah Constitution? The state Legislature has consistently shown its disdain for its own constituents by repeatedly ignoring the results of these referendums.

Remember the referendum to require fair redistricting, the results of which got tossed into the trash can as the Legislature adopted its own redistricting plan which not only ignored the referendum, but actually made the gerrymandering even more egregious by increasing the Republican majority in the 4th District to guarantee Democrats would likely never win it again.

Now the Legislature is about to pass HB215, a thinly disguised voucher bill, in defiance of a 2007 referendum, which overwhelmingly told the Legislature that Utah voters do not want money for public education being used for private schools.

Sen. Stuart Adams tells us there has been a change in public sentiment, based on having spoken to a few vocal parents who want taxpayers to foot the bill for sending their kids to private schools. But shouldn’t this issue require a public vote to support Adams’ assertion of a shift in voter sentiment?

As a voter, I am tired of the Utah Legislature constantly treating its constituents like children and telling us they know what is best for us, even when we have expressed our position through what should be a binding referendum. The Legislature included a raise for teachers – a thinly veiled bribe – to try to blunt opposition to this pathetic piece of legislation. Talk about putting lipstick on a pig!

Utah legislators, the voters of the state have repeatedly rejected vouchers. When will you listen to your own constituents? Maybe the voters of the state will finally start to realize the result of electing a veto-proof majority of a single party which feels absolutely no compulsion to respect their wishes.

Dennis R. Edmonds, Sandy

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