Utah lawmakers seek to call themselves into special sessions

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah lawmakers want to amend the state constitution in order to call themselves into a special session instead of relying on the governor to summon them.

The House Rules Committee approved the change Monday but the full House and Senate must still sign off on the measure. If the Legislature passes it, the change must also be approved by voters in November.

Rep. Brad Wilson’s proposal would allow lawmakers to meet in a session if two-thirds of the House and Senate feel it’s necessary because of “persistent fiscal crisis, war, natural disaster or emergency.”

Lawmakers have talked about adding that power since Gov. Gary Herbert refused to call a session last year to set rules for a special election to replace Republican Jason Chaffetz in Congress.

Herbert’s spokesman Paul Edwards says the governor is carefully reviewing Wilson’s proposal.

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