The AG has rendered its legal opinion on the voucher bills and the petition, which I signed, on the first bill.
a second law passed earlier this year amending the state's original voucher law could stand on its own, allowing the state to award public funds to help parents pay for private school tuition. So a referendum petition drive under way to repeal the first bill would merely nullify the sections of the bill that don't appear in the second version, HB174.
One section, however, includes language providing "mitigation monies" that keep public schools from losing money when students leave. Other sections limit state oversight of participating private schools and declare the program "neutral with respect to religion." A voucher program without those sections would be more vulnerable in court, the opinion said.
"Without this language, the act may be more susceptible to an establishment clause challenge," the opinion said. "However, these possible constitutional challenges to HB174 will not doom the bill's ability to stand on its own in creating a voucher program."
Gov. Huntsman pledged to hold a special session if 92,000 valid signatures are on that petition. Legislators who received donations from out of state voucher groups and then voted for a bill that the people don't want, like Speaker Curtis, better be begging Huntsman to hold a special session, because if they don't they might very be out of a job next November.
Call me a Political Science nerd, but I always thought that representative government should represent the people in their district or state or nation. And not whomever rights the biggest checks for their campaign. I have a feeling that at least 92,000 Utahns feel the same way, and many more who will show up to the polls to end this corruption by making this a two-party state for once.