PETITION FOR EXTRAORDINARY WRIT PURSUANT TO UTAH RULE OF APPELLATE PROCEDURE 19, AND UTAH CODE 20A-7-307 (3) (a).
Notice is given that Fred C. Cox, a Utah Voter, Petitioner, petitions the Utah Supreme Court to direct Spencer J. Cox, Lt. Governor, State of Utah, Respondent, to accept the Application for an Initiative or Referendum by Stephanie Gricius and four other Sponsors, attached, for the purpose of allowing them to attempt to obtain signatures for a referendum, to submit to the voters of the 2015 Utah General Election a repeal of 2015 2nd Sub. HB 454, now Enrolled, “Prison Development Amendments”, as allowed by the Utah Constitution, Article VI, Sec. 1, (2) (i) (B), and Utah Code, Title 20A, Section 7, Part 3. The bill failed to obtain a two-thirds vote of both Houses.
The Sponsors attempted to submit their Application on March 27, 2015, but was refused and denied that opportunity by the Utah Lt. Governor’s Election Office, based on the deadline found in Utah Code, 20A-7-302 (1) “within five calendar days after the end of the legislative session at which the law passed.”, which this year ended March 12, 2015. By the deadline specified in Utah Code, March 17, 2015, it was not known if the Governor would sign this bill, and according to the Legislative Website, the Governor was sent the Enrolled version of the bill on that day.
The Governor signed the bill on March 25, 2015 and finished signing or vetoing any other session bills on April 1, 2015, a deadline per Utah Constitution Art. VII, Sec. 8. The effective date of the bill to become law is May 12, 2015, as the immediate effective date found in the bill did not apply without the 2/3 vote of both houses.
This Court is the court specified by Utah Code 20A-7-307 (3) (a) for an extraordinary writ to compel the Lt. Governor to accept the application for any referendum petition. Even though the Petitioner, a Utah Voter, as required by Code 20A-7-307 (3) (a), is also a current member of the Utah House of Representatives, the Petitioner is powerless to repeal or request legislation soon enough to be of help to the Application Sponsors, in this case, without a special session being called by the Governor, who signed the bill, or this Court. The Court recently ruled in a similar case involving Draper City where an extraordinary writ was issued per Utah Code 20A-7-6 (4).
The Petitioner, contends that the deadline found in Utah Code, 20A-7-302 (1) does not provide a legal voter the power vested by the Utah Constitution, Art. VI, Sec. 1, (2) (i), as in most cases the voter will not know if the bill will be signed by the Governor by that deadline. The Petitioner requests the Court to decide this matter, and asks that the deadlines be adjusted by the Court for this case, so the Sponsors can submit their Application, and also have time to obtain signatures.
Fred C. Cox, a Utah Voter, Petitioner
Note, a copy of the Petition For Extraordinary Writ was delivered to the Lt. Governor's Election office for Fred C. Cox by James Dabakis on April 3, 2015.