Utah GOP Dominating State Policy

Thursday, 17 Mar 2011 11:14 AM

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Utah Republicans are dominating the state Capitol, sponsoring nine out of every 10 bills in the state Legislature this year and making them into law, the Salt Lake Tribune reported Thursday.

Democrats passed just 11 percent of the overall bills, according to an analysis by the newspaper. Even so, the Democrats praised GOP leaders, noting that they could steamroll almost anything they want in the state.

“They do listen to us,” Senate Minority Leader Ross Romero, a Salt Lake City Democrat, told a Hinckley Institute of Politics forum at the University of Utah last week.

Senate President Michael Waddoups, a Taylorsville Republican, said his party does try to include the minority party in decision making.

“We tried to work with them to get hearings on their bills, so they could work through the committee process to correct and improve their bills, as we do with ours. However, many of the bills they introduce are ‘message bills’ to their constituents that they don’t expect to pass, so their percentages are lower,” he said.

“Yet they provide an alternative voice,” Waddoups said, adding that he makes no apologies for Republicans passing such a high percentage of the bills. “The majority should pass the majority of the bills,” and said he feels it represents what most Utahns want.

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