SALT LAKE CITY — A bill to prohibit campaign contributions to the executive branch while the Utah Legislature is in session advanced Monday.
HB320 passed 9-0 out of the House Government Operations Committee. It now goes to the House floor.
The bill corrects what sponsor Rep. Mark Wheatley, D-Salt Lake City, called an "oversight" in state code by prohibiting fundraising by the lieutenant governor, attorney general, state auditor and state treasurer when the Legislature is in session. The same requirement is in place for the legislative branch and the governor.
State Auditor John Dougall and Justin Lee, elections director in Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox's office, both spoke in favor of the bill. Dougall said he hasn't taken any campaign contributions during the legislative session anyway, and Lee said Cox supports it as a "good, common sense change."
Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek, said she was "shocked" it wasn't already on the books.
No one spoke against the bill, and it passed out of committee with no opposition.