An open and shut case?

An advocate for open government, Rep. Kraig Powell, R-Heber City, is sponsoring two bills aimed at that goal, one serious and the other to make a point.
HB89 requires a political caucus to be open to the public if a quorum of the body is present and legislation is being discussed.
Republicans, who own an overwhelming majority in the House and Senate, often hold closed caucuses. The GOP House does it on occasion, while the GOP Senate does it routinely. Democratic caucuses are open.
Going along with that measure is HB226, which allows a public body to close a meeting to discuss legislation if that is “preferable” to an open meeting.
Powell said he doesn’t intend to advance the bill and filed it “just to make a point.”
If the Legislature doesn’t need to comply with open meetings laws, why should cities, counties or school boards? he said. It should be the same at each level of government.
“We should hold the Legislature to the strict letter of the law,” Powell.
Also Tuesday, House Majority Leader Brad Dee told Republican House members the caucus would not be used to discuss individual pieces of legislation.
Powell said he doesn’t know the impetus for the admonition, but said he was pleased to hear it.
House Speaker Becky Lockhart said the rule isn’t new but Dee was just reminding lawmakers of it. Caucus meetings, she said, are not the place for House members to sell their bills, rather they’re to discuss broader issues.

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