ELECTIONS

What Utah voters should know about Constitutional Amendment A

Oct 25, 2022, 6:38 PM | Updated: Oct 26, 2022, 10:44 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah voters will decide if they are for or against a constitutional amendment that impacts how much spending money lawmakers can handle during an emergency this election.

Constitutional Amendment A will raise the cap on spending during special sessions and emergencies if passed.

Lawmakers said the proposal comes after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During COVID, we had to have a lot of special sessions, we had a lot of changes we had to make to our budget, a lot of federal money was coming at us,” said Rep. Jeff Stenquist, R-Draper.

He said if Constitutional Amendment A is passed, it will give lawmakers more flexibility when responding to an emergency situation.

“There’s always a bit of an element of the unknown, you don’t know what’s going to come up,” Stenquist said.

That flexibility concerns opponents like Chase Thomas, executive director of Alliance for a Better Utah.

“We believe that those constitutional checks and balances, it’s not always meant for convenience or flexibility, it’s meant to be able to work in a system where different parties have to agree to get things done,” Thomas said.

Currently, the state legislature can use 1%of the state budget for emergencies. This amendment would bump that up to 5%.

“We just want to be able to make sure that we can react quickly when needed when it comes to funding,” Stenquist explained.

Opponents said the amendment gives lawmakers more control.

“We believe it’s an unnecessary power grab by the legislature at the expense of our constitutional checks and balances,” Thomas said.

The amendment only applies to emergencies when special sessions are called.

“If we had an earthquake or something like that, we might have to do some emergency measures,” Stenquist said.

Supporters of the amendment pointed out special sessions don’t often happen, while opponents said the legislative body should continue to operate as is.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Elections

Sherrie Swenson is ready to retire...
Jed Boal

32 years later, Sherrie Swensen stepping down as SL County Clerk

If you voted in an election in the last 30 years in Salt Lake County, Sherrie Swensen was the county clerk.  After eight campaigns and 32 years in that office, Swensen is retiring. 
1 month ago
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - NOVEMBER 11: Election workers open mail in ballots at the Maricopa County Tabula...
JONATHAN J. COOPER Associated Press

Arizona county certifies election after judge’s order

A rural Arizona county certified its midterm election results on Thursday, following the orders of a judge who ruled that Republican supervisors broke the law when they refused to sign off on the vote count by this week's deadline.
2 months ago
A voter drops his ballot into a drop box at Maricopa County....
MEG KINNARD Associated Press

Why the AP hasn’t called the Arizona governor’s race

The Associated Press has not yet called the governor's race in Arizona between Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and Republican former TV broadcaster Kari Lake. Vote counting in Arizona has been ongoing since Tuesday with officials in the state's 15 counties releasing tallies of votes as they're processed. Much of the focus has been on Maricopa, the state's largest county. Other big releases have been coming from Arizona's next two most populated counties, Pima and Pinal. The margin in the governor's race sat at just over 26,000 votes, with Lake about one percentage point behind.
3 months ago
Chris Stewart, John Curtis, Burgess Owens...
Andrew Menezes and Gregory Krieg, CNN

Meet the history-makers of the 2022 midterm elections

While the overall midterm election results may not be known for hours or even days in some spots, candidates from both parties are already celebrating historic victories.
3 months ago
Kari Lake on podium at election night event....
Associated Press

Police: No powder found in envelopes in candidate’s office

Police say no powder was in two suspicious unopened envelopes found at the Phoenix campaign headquarters of the Republican candidate for Arizona governor. The Kari Lake campaign said Saturday that an additional envelope containing a white powdery substance was earlier tossed into the trash by a staffer who did not notify security before it was emptied. Phoenix emergency officials say they were called to the building last weekend on a report of an envelope containing suspicious powder. The gubernatorial race between Lake and Democrat Katie Hobbs remained too early to call as of Saturday morning.
3 months ago
U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak hold their hands up together....
WILL WEISSERT, JILL COLVIN and SARA BURNETT Associated Press

Democrats keep Senate majority as GOP push falters in Nevada

Democrats will keep control of the Senate, repelling Republican efforts to retake the chamber and making it harder to thwart President Joe Biden's agenda. The fate of the House is still uncertain as the GOP struggles to pull together a slim majority there. Catherine Cortez Masto's victory Saturday in Nevada gives Democrats the 50 seats they need to keep the Senate. Her win reflects the surprising strength of Democrats across the U.S. this year. Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer says the American people have rejected "the anti-democratic, authoritarian, nasty and divisive direction" of Republicans who were promoted by Donald Trump. Biden says, "I feel good."
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
What Utah voters should know about Constitutional Amendment A