At just 45 days, Utah has one of the shortest legislative sessions in the country. Utah lawmakers are considering extending the session to allow for more debate and consideration of legislation.
If that were to come to pass, it would require a constitutional amendment. We asked our "Political Insider" panel and readers if they thought it was a good idea to give lawmakers more time on Capitol Hill. The answer was a resounding "no."
88% of Republicans, 64% of Democrats and 75% of our readers think extending the legislative session would be a bad idea.
Selected anonymous comments:
"Every organization will take until the very last minute to do it's work. More time does not always mean higher quality but it would certainly mean higher quantity and in the Utah Legislature, the renewed focus on quality needs to be governed internally."
"I think the legistative session is long enough, our legislators just need a lesson on working efficiently. Additionally, they should do away with so called secret or protected bills, allowing other legislators and the public an opportunity to study and constructively debate on the bill early on in the session. This would somewhat relieve the last week rush to pass legistation."
"They already waste too much time as it is. If they would focus on important priorities rather than pandering, they could actually get by with LESS time."
"Utah's short legislative session serves us well. We are the best managed state in the nation, the best place to do business, and the best place to raise a family. The less time that lawmakers have to muck things up, the better off we all are!"
"45 days is ample time for our part time legislators to get their jobs done. If you can't do your work in the allotted time period, you should have considered that before running for a part time elected position."
"There may be a direct correlation between how short Utah's legislative session is and the state's repeated recognition as the best managed state. More time means more laws passed, and is the metric of passing more laws really an indicator of success?"
"They goof off for half the session and then introduce the really awful stuff at the end of the session so no one can look at it before they vote. Most of what they do doesn't need doing in the first place."
"They get into enough mischief as it is. I wish they would go to an every-other-year approach like Montana, Nevada, North Dakota and Texas."
"The process needs to change to allow more time for debate on bills early in the session rather than hurry-up at the end of the session."
"It will not matter how long the session runs. The last few days will still be when the majority of the bills will pass and it will be the last minute scramble."
"45 days affords plenty of time to create havoc. California has a full-time legislature, and see what it got them."
"I think that 45 days is not quite enough time for the session but think it should be extended by only a limited amount, to 60 days as most."
"Extending legislative session with only exponentially increase the number of ridiculous message bills."