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In coming months Utahns will be asked to sign a couple of initiative petitions that eventually could significantly change the state's political landscape for the good. Citizens should not hesitate to add their signature to either petition.

One petition focuses on legislative ethics. Foremost, it would establish a non-partisan ethics commission. It would ban gifts to lawmakers, ban them from serving as lobbyists for at least two years after leaving office, and it would ban them from spending campaign funds on personal expenses.

A second initiative, if approved, would create an independent redistricting commission that would redraw Utah's congressional and state legislative districts after the U.S. Census every ten years. As it now stands, members of the legislature determine their own boundaries, which typically results in blatant and inexcusable gerrymandering.

Obviously, getting an initiative petition on the ballot is always daunting. For each effort, at least 95,000 signatures must be gathered by next April. So, as hearings are held and petition drives undertaken, KSL urges citizens to look favorably on the effort.

For years, lawmakers have given lip-service to ethics reform, but have failed miserably to clean up their act and get their legislative house in order. If they won't do it, the people must.

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