Gov. Spencer Cox speaks in the Utah House chamber at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. The governor and the Legislature have a history of power balancing.

Leah Hogsten

Political events of the last several months have emphasized the different approaches to public policy taken by Gov. Spencer Cox and most GOP lawmakers, even though they affiliate with the same political party. We explore how this impacts public perception about who holds the most clout in state government.

A recent Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics poll revealed 33% of Utahns believe legislative leaders have the most influence in the state, and 32% believe the governor does. Is this perception by citizens a reality?

Pignanelli: “The same rule that teaches the propriety of a partition between the various branches of power, teaches us this partition ought to be so contrived as to render the one independent of the other.” — Alexander Hamilton

During my service in the Legislature, I witnessed the shift of a gubernatorial centric of power in state government towards a legislative axis. A classic example is that for a century, the Legislature utilized the governor’s budget for deliberations. Then they initiated the tradition of constructing their own budgetary document with occasional reference to the chief executive. This included increased scrutiny and accountability of appointed officials. For over two decades this metamorphosis continued. Many political observers believe these developments are unnatural and not beneficial.

I disagree.

Granted, my legislative background and lobbyist experience does not breed objectivity. But the facts demonstrate that many of the recognitions and awards Utah receives for quality management, technological advancement …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


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