Article, 0816 UTBJ, Vol. 29, No. 4. 50

Author:Douglas S. Foxley, Frank R. Pignanelli, and Stephen D. Foxley, J.
 
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Vol. 29 No. 4 Pg. 50

Utah Bar Journal

August, 2016

July, 2016

What the Legislature Does between Now and 2017

An article for anyone who thinks the Legislature is on break for the next six months

Douglas S. Foxley, Frank R. Pignanelli, and Stephen D. Foxley, J.

Although Utah has a part-time citizen legislature, our elected representatives certainly do not act that way. A recent survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures suggests that legislators from states like Utah spend about half their time throughout the year on legislative functions. http://www.ncsl.org/research/ about-state-legislatures/full-and-part-time-legislatures.aspx. How could this be possible when the Utah State Legislature’s General Session lasts forty-five calendar days, with only thirty-three working days? The answer lies in all the official and unofficial work these individuals do to shape policy throughout the year and prepare for the next session.

In addition to the legislative functions required of the legislature, 2016 is an election year, so many public officials are in full campaign mode. Those lucky enough to have less-than-competitive races, or even to be running unopposed, are also likely meeting friends and neighbors and laying the groundwork for their next race.

How does this relate to the Bar? Well, it is important for our membership to work with the process during the interim on any proposed changes to the law. We also encourage your involvement in the local races that might affect you. The legislature may pass the laws, but the Bar interacts with the results on a daily basis. This gives us unique expertise to provide public officials as they consider future legislation. Thus, this article will briefly outline what you can expect to go on at the legislature and how you can be involved in the legislative and political process over the upcoming months.

Interim Legislative Process: What your legislator is doing for (or to) you

The legislative process is not the inverse to your children’s school calendar, with seven weeks of work followed by a nine-month vacation. Quite the contrary. In order for the...

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