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Special session proposal is in trouble in Senate

SHARE Special session proposal is in trouble in Senate

Utah lawmakers tend to get frisky whenever they feel the governor has too much power.

But a plan to allow Utah's 104 lawmakers to call themselves into special session is in trouble in the Senate where it received only 15 of the 20 votes needed to put the proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot.

HJR8 is not yet dead. Because only a simple majority is needed on a preliminary vote, as opposed to two-thirds on the final vote, the amendment remains on the Senate board awaiting a final vote and funding to put it on November's ballot.

Supporters say lawmakers need a way around a reluctant governor, pointing to former Gov. Mike Leavitt's refusal to call them into special sessions when lawmakers were seeking it. And there was nothing lawmakers could do about it.

The amendment, if passed by voters, would require a two-thirds vote of both the House and Senate before lawmakers could call themselves into special session.

Twelve of 29 senators voted against HJ8, while two senators are out with illnesses. Twenty votes are needed to send the measure to voters.