Utah ethics initiative supporters report they met 2012 requirements
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah: The Utah ethics initiative has exceeded state signature requirements, according to supporters. The initiative, proposed by Utahns for Ethical Government (UEG), proposes establishing a five-member independent commission to investigate ethics complaints against lawmakers and recommendations to the state legislature. Additionally, the initiative proposes ending corporate contributions to legislative candidates and placing a $2,500 cap on individual donations and $5,000 cap on contributions from political action committees over a two-year period. According to reports, supporters collected more than 110,000 signatures.
But despite filing the signatures, Lt. Gov. Greg Bell said they believe the petitions are invalid. Some of the signatures filed, he said, are believed to have been originally collected for the 2010 ballot and that deadline was missed. According to Bell, signatures collected for one election ballot may not be used for another.
Supporters submitted about 74,000 signatures in April 2010. If those signatures are excluded from the current submission then the signature for the 2012 ballot would drop to 36,000; short of the minimum signature requirement. UEG, however, said they sent a letter to the state that said that their April submission was not an official filing and thus should be counted for 2012.
The initiative is expected to head to court.