Source: SL Tribune

“In certain circumstances, it looks like we need to be able to call ourselves in special session,” House Majority Leader Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, told the Deseret News on Friday. “The time has come for us to debate this issue.” Wilson said he plans to propose an amendment to the Utah Constitution that would take away at least some of the governor’s control over special sessions. If passed by at least two-thirds of the Legislature, it would go before voters in November 2018.”

“Lawmakers have been pushing for Herbert to call them into special session to set up a process for holding a special election to fill a vacancy in the U.S. House now that Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, has said he may step down before his term ends.That announcement could come before Memorial Day, lawmakers have said they’ve heard, with Chaffetz leaving office as soon as June to take a position in the private sector, believed to be with Fox News.”

“Herbert has suggested that involving lawmakers at this point could be seen as gaming the system since some are considering a run for the 3rd District seat, including Sen. Deidre Henderson, R-Spanish Fork.BYU political science professor Jessica Preece said she agrees with the governor’s decision because it’s important for voters “to be able to be very confident that they are free and they are fair and they are not favoring anybody.””Who gets to decide how the rules play out is a really big question,” Preece said. “And I think it would be problematic to have people who may be running making that decision.”

“Jason Perry, head of the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics, said it’s significant that the Legislature is looking at the issue of who can call a special session.”

“It changes the Constitution and it gets to the heart of one of the separation of powers issues that has been held by the governor,” Perry said. “No one takes the special session lightly.”