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Legislative Sunshine

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There is something about sunshine that feels good!

Most people prefer the warmth, the light and the brightness that come with sunshine as opposed to clouds and fog and darkness.

Sunshine, too, is a critical element in the democratic process. For a society to be truly open and free, government cannot be allowed to do the people’s business in the dark, behind closed doors and away from public scrutiny.

That’s why Utah lawmakers this year should pass House Bill 52.

The measure would eliminate a glaring exemption in Utah’s vital Open and Public Meetings Act. Among other things, it would require members of the legislature to hold their party caucus meetings in full public view.

They should! Especially when a single party’s caucus is large enough to form a quorum and pass legislation, as is the case currently with the super majority Utah republicans have in both the House and Senate.

We’d like to be optimistic and think House Bill 52 stands a chance. We’d like to think Utah lawmakers enjoy sunshine as much as their constituents do. But, indications are the misguided convenience of secrecy – in other words, darkness – will prevail.

As is often the case, the politicians will likely opt to avoid sunshine. And that always makes us wonder what it is they are trying to hide?

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