WSU to Host Debate on Proposed Ethics Initiative

OGDEN, Utah – Should Utah voters have a say in creating ethics standards for state legislators?

Weber State University’s Richard Richards Institute for Politics, Decency and Ethical Conduct will host a debate on a proposed state ethics initiative, Nov. 30 at 11:30 a.m. in the Shepherd Union Wildcat Theater.

Kim Burningham, co-chair of Utahns for Ethical Government, will speak in favor of having an ethics initiative on the ballot in November 2010. Sen. Lyle Hillyard, R-District 25 (Cache and Rich counties), will address why an ethics initiative should not be on the 2010 ballot.

Nolan Karras, former member of the Utah House of Representatives and Speaker of the House (1989-1990), will moderate the debate.

The public is welcome to attend this free event, sponsored by the Richards Institute.

Utahns for Ethical Government is a group of Republicans, Democrats, Independents and unaffiliated voters who have prepared an initiative for placement on the November 2010 general election ballot. The initiative would establish an independent ethics commission and a strict code of ethical conduct for the Utah Legislature. Visit to learn more about the group and the proposed initiative.

State lawmakers are in the process of advancing a bill that calls for the creation of a five-member commission to review and investigate complaints against state lawmakers. Under the proposed legislation, complaints found to have merit would be forwarded to the House or Senate ethics committee. Lawmakers point to the pending legislation as a better option than the ethics initiative.

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John Kowalewski, director of Media Relations
801-626-7212 •

Nancy Haanstad, associate professor and chair, political science department
801-626-6698 •

Nathan Clark, development director
801-626-7539 •