Now that Utah's special legislative session has quietly come and gone, I have to wonder if a bad precedent has been set. The session was called to clear up a matter with technology centers but quickly mutated into a session to sneak through a bunch of bills that very easily could have waited until the next regular session. Gov. Mike Leavitt even slipped in a bill that he had vetoed during the last regular session.
I can sympathize with legislators getting caught up with the idea of slipping some bills through while the public is largely unaware that they are even meeting. The lack of opposition must have been music to their ears.
But passing a bunch of bills in the off season is a bad idea. The Legislature and the governor should be more willing to take the heat on controversial issues and air them out during the regular session when the eye of the public is more focused on them.
I would urge the Legislature and the governor to continue to be cautious about holding special sessions and to be more selective about what legislation they consider if they do hold a special session.