by Senator Scott McCoy
Senate District Two
Well the voucher mess has now moved to the courts. Both sides have filed law suits to try and untangle the disaster that is HB 148 and HB 174. The Utah Supreme Court will hear arguments in the two cases this Friday. It will be great political and judicial theater for sure. What I truly love the most about the latest chapter in the voucher drama is the rich irony that we will be saved by the courts. How wonderful it is to see conservative legislators, such as Senator Bramble, who extol the supremacy of the Legislative Branch, throwing up their hands (after the requisite amount of public platitudes about the will of the people and sufficient wailing and gnashing of teeth) and pleading with the Judiciary to sort out this mess over which the impotent Legislature now seems to have no control (or responsibility). So the solution is not to have the political will and intestinal fortitude (i.e., leadership) to fix this mess of our own making but rather to put our fate in the hands of those five wise Justices, even if they are ever prone to judicial activism (i.e., decisions the conservatives don’t like). Talk about passing the buck.
Oh and by the way, the Senate Site recently suggested that all this is somehow the fault of the voucher opponents for picking a vehicle (i.e., a referendum rather than an initiative) that won’t take them where they want to go. Let’s not forget that the bad process that got us where we are today was 1) a poorly conceived original voucher bill and 2) a poorly conceived separate “clean up” bill. The voucher proponents got lucky and passed the poorly conceived HB 148 by one vote. When critics pointed out some real problems with the bill, the voucher proponents realized that the original bill did result in some bad public policy. It was their reaction in running the second poorly conceived bill that set this current unpleasantness in motion.