Democrats Protest Potential Full Partisan Staff in Committee Changes

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: February 23, 2016

Contact:          Elizabeth Converse, Communications Director
                       Utah House Democratic Caucus
                       801-835-7087 | econverse@le.utah.gov

Democrats Protest Potential Full Partisan Staff In Committee Changes

Salt Lake City - House Democratic Caucus Manager Representative Patrice Arent adamantly opposed H.B. 220 - Legislative Organization Amendments, when it was heard today on the House floor. The bill proposes changing the makeup of the Legislative Management Committee and Audit Subcommittee which are responsible for the hiring of non-partisan staff directors, legislative scheduling, as well as prioritizing and hearing audit reports.

Representative Arent said, “I have the unique perspective of being a member of that non-partisan legislative staff as well as serving on the Legislative Management Committee. These committees are bipartisan because they need to be above the political gridlock we see in Washington. If the directors of our staff offices are hired by one party, it changes the nature of our staff. Then staff and the work they produce will be beholden to party politics.

Our staff serves us well, and impartially. If the committees that manage the legislature move from bipartisan to partisan, we will always wonder whether future management decisions are made for the benefit of the whole legislature, or just for one party.”

H.B. 220 passed the House Floor by a vote of 41 to 33 and will now go to the Senate.

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