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Changes on Capitol Hill

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The newly chosen speaker of the Utah House of Representatives has made a couple of significant pronouncements that KSL trusts are genuine.

"What is needed in the House," incoming Speaker Dave Clark is quoted as saying, "is a more collaborative, bridge-building (leadership) style." We couldn't agree more. If such an attitude actually prevails, Utahns can expect a much less contentious and a more productive atmosphere among lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Just as significant is Speaker Clark's announced commitment to ethics reform. He called it a top priority, as it should be. His ambitious plan calls for

-A ban on most gifts to lawmakers,
-A ban on personal use of campaign funds,
-A limit on campaign contributions,
-A rule change that would prohibit lawmakers from lobbying until they've been out of office for at least a year,
-Changes in the ethics complaint and hearing process.

After years of lip-service to ethics reform, and following an election where ethics issues played a significant role, Speaker Clark apparently realizes it is time for lawmakers to actually do something about it. Indeed, if the new Speaker follows through with his initial pronouncements, he will help his legislative colleagues begin to regain the confidence of the electorate.

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