All Three Propositions Passed, So Why Won’t Lawmakers Respect The Vote?

Utah State Capitol

Tell me if I’m beating a dead horse. You voted in November for Proposition 2, it passed, and then Governor Herbert signed the medical marijuana compromise bill into law on December 3 of the same year –but no one voted for the compromise.

I’ll admit I knew it would happen. Hell, the whole state knew it would happen. But let’s look at the other propositions and where we are with them. Let’s move on from prop 2. We’ll see how the compromise plays out in our state and what the process for dispensing medical cannabis to patients looks like. I won’t get stuck on the fact that it feels like our state legislature is acting like a group of sages in Mr. Mac suits. The horse is dead- fine.

The Medicaid expansion is fine though, right?

If you can recall all those years back during this last election you’ll remember that Sen. Jake Anderegg, R-Lehi, threatened to run a bill to repeal Proposition 3 –the Medicaid expansion. While he waffled on the threat, a new set of balloon heads are considering dropping the coverage point from those who make less than $17,000 –to $12,000. But remember, that’s not what we the people voted for.

For those rolling their eyes because the expansion program falls short by $45 million in funding, and it needs to be trimmed down, remember in December when lawmakers said we were in a $1.3 billion dollar surplus? You’re going to tell me that all those funds have been earmarked? The people voted. The job of the legislature is to make it happen by representing the values of the voters, otherwise, why the hell did we vote?

Surely two examples of lawmakers going against the grain of the voice of the voters is not evidence of a we-know-better-than-the-people-legislature?

Fine I’ll give you another. Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, and Sen. Ralph Okerlund, R-Monroe, are both flirting with the idea of a lawsuit to prevent Proposition 4 from ever taking off the ground. Again, I ask, didn’t the voters say they wanted this?

Did all three propositions narrowly pass? Yes. But that doesn’t mean that the legislature gets to abdicate its role in representing the voice of the people. There’s no question that the propositions brought out voters in November and that signature gathering was a success prior to the election. What is in question is why would lawmakers would choose to stifle what we agreed on?

None of the initiatives are perfect -no law is- but they passed. In my mind why wouldn’t the state legislature add amendments to strengthen the voice of the people instead of silencing it by overriding what the people wanted, and in the case of Medicaid expansion, crippling key sections of what the proposition called for?

Substitution of Proposition 2 didn’t happen in a vacuum. We now have two more examples of state lawmakers side stepping the voters. Why should we take this lying down? I don’t have a solution to accommodate everyone, and I don’t need one. The voters have spoken, their will should be carried out.

The legislative session starts on January 28 and it ends on March 14, during that time you and I have to make calls, send emails and if time allows, show up to the state capitol to let them know that they work for us.

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