What the Heck Does That Mean?

by Senator Scott McCoy
Senate District Two

Senator Scott McCoy
Today Governor Huntsman, President Valentine and Speaker Curtis issued the following statement:

 

Statement by Utah’s Governor, President of the Senate,
and Speaker of the House of Representatives

Salt Lake City – The following is a joint statement by Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, President John Valentine and Speaker Greg Curtis:

Citizens bear the ultimate responsibility for how their government operates and how their children are educated. As elected officials, we support the constitutional right of the people of our state to ratify or reject legislation through the referendum process.

We encourage a healthy process and a clear public decision on Utah’s Voucher Policy in November. In order for the referendum process to be effective, the electorate takes on the obligation to make an informed decision when casting their vote. We hope people become educated on this issue and engage in a manner befitting the citizens of a free republic.

A Special Session will not be called since an easy and practical remedy does not exist. We, however, are making our intentions clear: we honor the rule of law and will respect the outcome of the election.

So what does that mean? Let’s take it in reverse order.

“We, however, are making our intentions clear: we honor the rule of law and will respect the outcome of the election.”

“…will respect the outcome of the election.”  Huh? So if the referendum on HB 148 succeeds, that is the voters say NO to vouchers, does that mean these three will lead the way in repealing HB 174, too, or does it mean that they will respect the decision to repeal HB 148 and they will push ahead with the implementation of HB 174 which they maintain is not legally the subject of the referendum? How about a clear statement like: “If the referendum succeeds, then we will repeal HB 174.” Now that would be making their intentions clear.

“We encourage a healthy process and a clear public decision on Utah’s Voucher Policy in November.”

Nice sentiment, but the process was not healthy in the first place because the two bills produced this confusing result. The confusion that exists and the messy process that is now resulting cannot be fixed with mere “encouragement.” It takes leadership. Calling a special session and doing the right thing by making HB 174 also contingent on the outcome of the referendum would not only “encourage a healthy process and clear public decision,” it would guarantee it.

“In order for the referendum process to be effective, the electorate takes on the obligation to make an informed decision when casting their vote. We hope people become educated on this issue and engage in a manner befitting the citizens of a free republic.”

Undoubtedly, the people of Utah will educate themselves and make an informed decision on this issue, but the question remains: If and when the referendum on HB 148 succeeds, will the Governor and the Republican leadership interpret the vote as a repudiation of vouchers altogether, that is both HB 148 and HB174?

“Citizens bear the ultimate responsibility for how their government operates and how their children are educated.”

Citizens bear the responsibility for how their government operates, and as importantly, who operates their government. Watch closely, citizens of Utah. Watch your current leadership take a pass on clearing up this voucher mess and watch to see if they abide by your wishes after the referendum. If they don’t get the picture, maybe then it will be time to change how your government operates by changing who is in charge of operating it.

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