The solution, contained in SB298, sponsored by Sen. Bill Hickman, R-St. George, emerged 11 days ago and breezed through the Senate late last week without even receiving the customary fiscal impact analysis and less than five minutes of debate in committee and on the floor. It was brought up in House Republican Caucus on Tuesday with just one day left in the 45-day session.The MO of this legislature for years now has been to bring up controversal matters at the last minute--so that there is no time to examine the bill and think about it--and demand party loyalty from their caucus. The inverse of this tactic is to claim to "run out of time" on popular bills that the leadership doesn't like, like Henry's law. If Speaker Curtis really had no influence in this land sale, it wouldn't have come up in the Senate last week without debate and brought up before the House with a day left in the session.
Our legislature needs to be officially full time. I say "officially" because they have hearings and taskforce meetings throughout the year on a routine basis. If for no other reason, a full-time legislature could not use the clock as an excuse for a lack of deliberation or an inability to address legislation.