Utah LG rules ethics initiative can go forward

Utah LG rules ethics initiative can go forward

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah Lt. Gov. Greg Bell says a citizen initiative to create an independent ethics commission and a code of conduct for state legislators isn't patently unconstitutional and can move forward.

Bell released signatures packets Tuesday that are necessary to get the initiative on the ballot in 2010.

Utahns for Ethical Government must get the signatures of 95,000 registered voters from 26 of the state's 29 Senate districts by April.

Bell had expressed concern that the initiative was unconstitutional because the state constitution grants the Legislature the authority to regulate itself.

In a meeting Monday evening, Utahns for Ethical Government countered that its proposal is constitutional because the ethics commission would only be an advisory one.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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