Only in America can a state get what it votes against, maybe.
Utah’s Attorney General Mark Shurtleff’s opinion would require the Utah State Board of Education to implement school vouchers now, even though the state legislature did not intend the implementation now, and even though the people may reject the plan for vouchers in a November election.
According to the Shurtleff’s opinion, vouchers would have to be implemented despite the state’s rejection of them. The Deseret Morning News tried to explain the mess.
Complicating affairs is a “technical amendment” passed by the legislature after the original voucher authorization legislation, to correct problems in the first bill. The referendum is on the first bill; the amendment was billed as a “clean-up” bill fixing technical problems with the first bill. But the attorney general now says that the amendment can stand alone, and consequently the law would require the Board to implement a law they oppose, even if the people reject the law.
So, of course, the courts may be asked to parse out the truth and the law.
If you’re not confused yet, stick around. Mark Twain famously said no man’s life, limb, nor property is safe so long as the legislature is in session. Utah’s corollary is that nothing is safe even after the legislature goes home.