Utah Representative Outlines Guiding Principles for Creating Legislation

Utah Rep. Neil Hansen, Democrat from District 9 for the past 10 years, has written a commentary over on Standard.Net, called Using guiding principles to weigh the pros and cons of each issue.

Rep. Hansen discusses the principles he has developed over the years in addressing consituents’ concerns

The first principle pertains to valuing people so I begin with asking this internal question, “How will this piece of proposed legislation affect the people of the state of Utah, and more specifically, the constituents residing within my district? Will the outcomes positively affect the people and do something “for” them or will the outcome negatively affect our citizens and do something “to” them?

As the second principle guides my overall perspective of an issue, I ask myself, “How many people will benefit from this legislation if enacted into law and to what extent or degree? Is this law really necessary? If so, what resources will be allocated to this legislation, if any?” Then, I make a determination as to whether the new law is worth the payout or not.

The third principle or guiding question I ask myself is, “Will this new law or legislation help provide some sense of health, safety, or welfare for the community as a whole or just a few in a special interest group? Whose needs are being met with this legislation and how far-reaching will the effects of it be felt in years to come and future generations? Or is this just a Band-Aid solution being applied to gaping wound needing more adequate attention and resolution?

With these guiding principles being stated, I’d like to outline some of the issues that we, as legislators, will be considering during this session and I, for one, will continue implementing these principles to guide my decisions.

Read the rest of the article here.


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