Utah Legislature Watch Contributor on KSL Radio today

Deanna Taylor was interviewed regarding transparency and ethics with Utah’s policy makers, especially since a Deseret News Article in today’s paper revelated that over half of Utah’s legislators have sponsored bills that have conflicts of interest.

The piece was aired at noon on KSL Radio, 1160 AM and at KSL’s website

Interview on KSL Radio

Here is the text posted on KSL website:

Many bills pose possible conflict of interest
February 16th, 2009 @ 7:40am
By Mary Richards

A lot of Utah state legislators have conflicts of interest with the bills they are supporting.

The Deseret News reports more than half of Utah’s 104 lawmakers have bills that could affect their private lives or businesses. They range from a senator/police chief introducing a slew of public safety bills, to the House majority leader with a son lobbying for an ambulance license bill. Also, a lawyer is sponsoring a bill on attorney fees.

The newspaper reports the numbers could be higher because some lawmakers were vague or didn’t fill out the required conflict-of-interest update forms.

Some say it’s a good thing to bring in personal expertise to bills, but others say there needs to be more disclosure. The Deseret News says conflict-of-interest rules are so vague on Capitol Hill that lawmakers often don’t know exactly when they need to declare a conflict, or what to do about it when they do.

Deanna Taylor, with Utah Legislature Watch, says conflicts should be more defined. “If my husband were to run for office, would it be a conflict of interest for him because I’m a teacher? That sort of thing. I think where it really becomes an issue is when someone is benefiting financially from the bills they are introducing,” she said.

Taylor would like to see a committee or task force that includes citizens and constituents making things more defined and transparent on the hill.

So far there are only a few bills dealing with conflicts.

E-mail: mrichards@ksl.com


One Response

  1. Can I just say what a relief to locate somebody who in fact knows what theyre talking about online. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. Far more individuals need to read this and fully grasp this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more well-known because you undoubtedly have the gift.

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