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

Local News

Spanish Fork police at the scene where the teen was hurt....

Andrew Adams

Police: Spanish Fork teen seriously injured after falling out of an SUV

Spanish Fork police said a 16-year-old boy was seriously injured after falling out of a moving SUV on Friday.

14 hours ago

Aftermath of an avalanche off of the Wasatch Mountains. (Courtesy: Rob Holmes)...

Brianna Chavez

Backcountry skier urges caution after triggering avalanche in Little Cottonwood Canyon

A backcountry skier urges other skiers to be cautious after triggering avalanche in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

14 hours ago

silver cuffs on a black background...

Alexander Campbell

Cedar City math tutor accused of recording a student in the restroom

A math tutor in Cedar City was arrested after admitting to recording a student in his restroom on Thursday.

15 hours ago

Pair of handcuffs on a black bacthroom...

Alexander Campbell

Salt Lake City man charged with credit union robbery

A grand jury has voted to charge a local man with the robbery of a Cyprus Credit union.

16 hours ago

Joey Skelton, a school bus driver for a Utah school is receiving a thank you poster and an award fo...

Emma Benson

School bus driver hailed as hero for saving student lives after car ignored bus stop arm

A Jordan School District bus driver is being praised after he prevented a possible tragedy from happening to students. 

16 hours ago

A boy leads a band through a community near Manila, Philippines....

Dan Rascon

Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints bring water to Filipino community

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints helped to build new water tanks for a small Filipino community that was in desperate need.

17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

What Utah voters should know about Constitutional Amendment A