Inaccurate cost estimates for fluoride may not be enough to force a revote.

A "truth-in-advertising" bill that would have required a second vote on the additive was unanimously tabled by the Senate Government Opera- tions Committee Wednesday, meaning that it can only be placed back on an agenda by the committee chairman. HB181, sponsored by Rep. Michael Morley, R-Spanish Fork, would have placed the fluoride issue back on the ballot if the cost exceeded pre-election estimates by more than 25 percent.

Morley has maintained that the change was primarily to help ensure the honesty of citizen initiatives but focused on fluoride because of two pending initiative lawsuits in the Utah Supreme Court and the varying costs of the water treatment since its approval in 2000.

But committee members were concerned that costs were too hard to pin down before a project had started and that they could be manipulated after the election. Sen. Dan Eastman, R-Bountiful, suggested that a better approach would be to alert people that there could be higher than anticipated costs associated with a project. "The best approach is a disclaimer to the voters that if they want it, there is a cost," Eastman said. "These people didn't vote for fluoride because of the cost. They voted on whether or not they wanted it."

Sen. Bill Hickman, R-St. George, said that he also did not think it was the job of the Legislature to dictate rules to cities and counties about how their local issues should be resolved.

"I really question that this is our role, to step in, unless it is a universal and global problem with the initiative process," he said. "I don't want to narrow it to just this issue (fluoride)."

Fluoride can still be placed on a ballot for a revote through a citizen initiative or by a county's legislative body because of changes made by the Legislature last year. The revote can only be done every four years, during a general election.