The sponsor of a bill being held by the House Rules Committee pulls a legislative end-around

Utah Capitol 15

Sometimes there are several ways to skin a cat in the Utah Legislature.

The House Rules Committee holds bills that GOP leaders and members don’t like. Denying a standing committee hearing is the easiest way to kill a bill.

Rep. Norm Thurston, R-Provo, had HB46, which would allow a server 18 years old to 20 years old to tell a restaurant patron about alcoholic drinks and take a drink order.

Unchanged would be the case that only someone 21 or older could mix or deliver the drink to the table.

But even though the bill was recommended by the Administrative Rules Committee during the interim, the House Rules Committee has held it since the second day of the session.

So, yesterday, in committee Thurston was able to amend into a separate liquor bill his HB46 language – letting 18, 19 and 20-year-olds take drink orders in a licensed restaurant.

Of interest, the bill Thurston got amended in committee is sponsored by Rep. Tim Hawkes, R-Centerville.

Yep, that Hawkes, the chairman of the House Rules Committee – which held Thurston’s bill for weeks.

We’ll see if Hawkes’ HB453, now amended to include Thurston’s changes, is further altered to take that stuff out, or moves forward in the House and Senate changed to include stuff that leaders/Rules members clearly didn’t want.