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COMMISSION WANTS CHANGE IN LEGISLATURE’S STARTING DATE

SHARE COMMISSION WANTS CHANGE IN LEGISLATURE’S STARTING DATE

The Utah Constitution should be changed so legislators can start their yearly general sessions at the end, rather than the beginning, of January, the Utah Constitution Revision Commission believes.

Commission members on Friday approved a resolution that would change the annual session's starting date from the second to the fourth Monday in January.The change is needed, legislative leaders say, because vital revenue projection data isn't available until the last week of the current session schedule, giving little time to actually put together the $3 billion budget.

Moving the session back two weeks would allow more consideration of the budget - traditionally the most important document approved by the Legislature each year.

A change in the constitution requires two-thirds approval by the House and Senate and voter approval in the next general election. If lawmakers approve the commission's proposed change during the coming session, citizens will find it on the November 1990 ballot. If they approve the change, legislators will convene Jan. 28, 1991, instead of Jan. 14.

General sessions still would be 45 consecutive days. Thus, sessions would end in mid-March instead of late February.