The pressure looming on the legislature’s special session

Mar 25, 2022, 10:49 AM

The Capitol in Salt Lake City on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. (KSL NewsRadio file photo)...

The Capitol in Salt Lake City on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. (KSL NewsRadio file photo)

(KSL NewsRadio file photo)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Today, Utah lawmakers are planning to meet for a special session to override Governor Spencer Cox’s veto of a controversial transgender athletes bill.

House Bill 11 was passed in the closing hours of the legislative session for 2022. The bill included a provision added at the last second that had many worried, including Gov. Cox. The bill would leave the door open for potential lawsuits and make the Utah school system liable to pay.

The special session today aims at considering the financial and legal problems with the bill and rectifying them. It is likely to pass with full support from Republicans and head back to Governor Cox’s desk for a signature.

The pressure to vote during an election year

The last time legislature voted on the bill, it did not have the full support of Republicans. Many legislatures were unsure to vote because they had not fully reviewed the last-minute changes of the bill.

Taylor Morgan, the Executive Director of Count My Vote talked to KSL at Night on how things could fare differently this time around.

“The timing of the Governor’s veto and this override session, I believe make this more about partisan purity than actual policy,” Morgan told KSL at Night.

The legislature was four votes away in both the House and the Senate for a veto override. Morgan believes they have secured those four votes for today’s session.

“We have county conventions coming up… Weber county and Davis county have their conventions Saturday, the day after the veto override session,” Morgan said.

He continued, “Republican lawmakers up for re-election have to answer to a smaller, much more strident group of party voters at the convention than party voters in their district… Republican lawmakers who may oppose the policy in principle, may feel pressure to vote for the veto override tomorrow because they have to go and be accountable to these  more partisan party delegates.”

Voting for this bill might hurt some candidates in the general elections, but Morgan reiterates lawmakers first need to make it through Republican conventions to even make it to the general elections.

You can listen to the full interview from Taylor Morgan on KSL at Night below.

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The pressure looming on the legislature’s special session