Utah Senator Wants to End ‘Boxcar’ Bills

(KCPW News) Republican South Jordan Senator Aaron Osmond is hoping to bring more transparency to the state Legislature this year by running a bill that would prohibit boxcar legislation. Boxcar bills have limited language in the title and are often used by legislators to run bills in the last few days of the session.

“It’s a tool that’s used by legislators in order to be ready in the event that they have something that comes up [during session] that they want to do something about by just having a bill that out there in a generic title that could be a priority bill if they decide to do so,” Osmond said.

If Osmond’s resolution passes, legislators would have two weeks before the beginning of the session to open all bills, with text in the body of the bill, explaining the objectives and requirements of the bill.

“I believe that the public deserves the right to know about the bills and what’s coming,” said Osmond. “So do our cities, our municipalities, our counties the various state organizations etc. ought to have a chance to know what’s coming and review the contents of that description before session begins.”

Osmond’s legislation also seeks to limit the amount of time a bill can remain circled, or on hold, to no more than five legislative days in order to limit the amount of bills the body is voting on during the final night of the session.