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Debate: We said, Veto, veto, veto. He said, Yes, no, no ...

Published March 29, 2017 12:45 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board last month urged Utah Gov. Gary Herbert to veto a bill, passed in the recent session of the Legislature, that would remove a cap on the number of people from any one political party (i.e., Republicans) on various state boards and commissions. This week, he did just that.

Then he ignored the advice of one of those same bodies, the Air Quality Board, (and another Tribune editorial) by signing a bill that prohibits the state from making any rules against starting wood fires, even on red air days, as long as the supposed purpose of the fire is to cook something.

He also ignored the suggestion of the Tribune, and others, and signed a controversial bill to lower Utah's acceptable blood alcohol content to the tightest in the nation.

Guess the old veto pen only has so much ink in it.

— Herbert should veto bill designed to stack state boards with Republicans — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial, Feb. 22

"As difficult as it may be for all the members of the Utah Legislature to grasp, the fact is that there are a great many smart, industrious people in this state who are neither Republicans nor Democrats.

"One way for the state to tap more of that independent brain power would be for Gov. Gary Herbert to veto a bill recently passed by the Legislature, the one that has been rightly portrayed as an effort to stack state boards and commissions with more Republicans than the law now allows...."

— Guv vetoes bill that could have cut Democrats out of state boards — Lee Davidson | The Salt Lake Tribune, March 24

"Gov. Gary Herbert vetoed his first bill of the 2017 Legislature on Friday — a controversial one that would have removed the requirement to appoint at least some Democrats to dozens of state boards and commissions. ..."

— Herbert's veto of bad bill means good people must step up — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial, March 29

"Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican if ever there was one, has gone to some pains to do the few Democrats and many unaffiliated voters of Utah a big favor. It is a gesture that should be reciprocated.

"The governor vetoed House Bill 11. ...

" ... But if the veto sticks, as it should, Herbert is left with the same problem he had before — finding enough people to fill out the various panels without going back to the same old Republican well.

"Utahns who are of a public-spirited bent, but who may feel left out because they aren't Republicans, now owe Herbert an active kind of thanks. It's time for more Democrats and, especially, more of the large and growing pool of unaffiliated voters, to step up and volunteer for those positions. ..."


— Herbert should veto wood-cooking bill — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial, March 9

" ... If approved, HB65 would prohibit any regulation of wood burning if its purpose is to cook food. It would apply to residents and to restaurants, meaning that, even on 'red' days when children and the elderly are threatened by particulate pollution, there could be no limits put on smokers and grillers.

"There are hundreds of thousands of sources of air pollution in the valley, and people cooking with smoke probably only number in the hundreds. But they can be among the heaviest producers. If you live near a wood-fired restaurant, it can affect your health even if you never venture in for a rack of ribs. It is, in a very real sense, second-hand smoke.

" ... So why is this even coming up? Because the people behind this bill are in the business of making cooking grills. Utah-based Traeger Pellet Grills is a market leader in wood-pellet cooking, and its headquarters is in Sugar House. ...

" ... This bill only makes sense in the haze on Capitol Hill. The governor should throw a blanket on it."

— Environmental groups want the governor to veto wood-burning bill — Emma Penrod | The Salt Lake Tribune

— Herbert stokes fire over air quality by signing bill allowing use of wood to cook — Emma Penrod | The Salt Lake Tribune

"Gov. Gary Herbert has signed into law a controversial proposal to exempt burning wood to cook food from air quality regulations.

"While speaking of the bill last Thursday, Gov. Herbert said that if he signed it, there would 'be some additional work with the sponsor and others involved, the private sector as well as the Air Quality Board, to get to the right place and make sure our air quality needs are being accommodated by our ability to make decisions.'

"Herbert signed HB65 the following day.

"The state Air Quality Board had asked the governor veto the bill, which it said would 'directly limit the board's ability to approve future air-quality regulation and enforce existing regulations.'..."


— Governor should veto Utah's experiment in DUI limits — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial, March 21

"In passing a bill to make Utah's driving under the influence standard the strictest in the nation, members of the Utah Legislature have overdriven their own headlights. Gov. Gary Herbert would do us all a favor if he would veto the measure so we can slow down and reconsider.

"Sponsors of House Bill 155 are no doubt sincere in their desire to make Utah streets and highways safer. But by leaping ahead of every other jurisdiction in the United States, with only faith that it would really accomplish their goal, lawmakers are conducting a scientifically sloppy experiment. And Utah drivers are the guinea pigs. ..."

— New DUI standard is an unworkable, unnecessary step for the state — Robert Gehrke | The Salt Lake Tribune

— Lower blood-alcohol limit doesn't help, and Herbert should veto it — Michele T. Corigliano | Salt Lake Area Restaurant Association | For The Salt Lake Tribune

— Lower alcohol limit means more people of color will be improperly stopped — Anna Thomas | ACLU | For The Salt Lake Tribune

— Separate drinking from driving by lowering legal limit — Bella Dinh-Zarr | National Transportation Safety Board | For The Salt Lake Tribune

— Herbert signs nation's first 0.05 DUI bill; Utahns split on issue — Lee Davidson and Kathy Stephenson | The Salt Lake Tribune

"After heavy lobbying by all sides, Gov. Gary Herbert on Thursday signed a controversial bill to make Utah's laws on drunken driving the toughest in the nation — but anticipates tweaks before it takes effect late next year. ...

" ... At his monthly KUED news conference, Herbert said he was signing HB155 'with some caveats.' The bill would make Utah the first state to lower the blood-alcohol limit to be legally drunk while driving from 0.08 to 0.05 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). ..."

— There is still a chance to fix Utah's new DUI bill — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial, March 25

"Gov. Gary Herbert had objections, valid objections, to the bill that would make Utah stand alone among the 50 states in lowering the level of legal impairment to a mere 0.05 blood alcohol content. ...

" ... But ... Herbert signed the bill. He did that even though he had enough problems with the measure to promptly pledge to call a special session of the Legislature, perhaps this summer, to address its shortcomings...."

— Impairment begins with the first drink, and Utah made the right move — Deborah A.P. Hersman | National Safety Council | For The Salt Lake Tribune






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