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Herbert saves state employees' 4-day workweek with veto

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SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert vetoed four bills Wednesday, including legislation that would have put an end to the state's four-day work week.

The governor said in a statement that HB328, sponsored by Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, was unconstitutional because it "constitutes an unwarranted intrusion" on his powers.

Plus, Herbert said, "the people of Utah have grown accustomed to extended Monday through Thursday hours" and eliminating those "would be too disruptive, and simply bad policy."

However, the governor said he was issuing an executive order Wednesday mandating that by Oct. 1, all state agencies will make "critical, public-facing services" available on Friday either in person, online or with telephone support.

The bill would have allowed state employees to continue to work a four-day week, but would have required offices to reopen on Fridays. Former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. had established the shorter work week in an effort to save the state money on energy costs.

The other bills Herbert vetoed are SB229, which would have earmarked sales taxes for transportation projects; SB294, which would have made changes to the state's health exchange program; and SB305, which would have used a Web-based tool to align education with the needs of the business community.

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Lisa Riley Roche


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