2018 Bills

SB 28: Requiring Government Entity Transparency

This bill passed unanimously in the Senate and with a vote of 70-3 in the House.

Libertas Institute supports this bill

Staff review of this legislation finds that it is aligned with our principles and merits support.

A 2017 legislative audit discovered that limited purpose entities—government entities that, among other things, provide public services such as sewer and water treatment—are severely lacking in transparency. There are nearly 500 limited purpose entities which cost Utahns roughly $3.5 billion a year in taxes and fees. Fraud, waste, abuse, and poor management were only some of the problems discovered among the operations of the entities.

Hidden from the public view, it has been easy for many of these entities to get away with breaking state laws. Action is now being taken by Senator Deidre Henderson to require more stringent rules and oversight of these limited purpose entities through Senate Bill 28.

All local government agencies and limited purpose entities would be legally obligated to register with the lieutenant governor under SB 28. A statewide register would then be created and maintained by the lieutenant governor. If an agency fails to register with the state, the state auditor will be able to withhold funds to ensure their7767 compliance.

It is obviously important to prevent illegal activity by any local government agency or limited purpose entity—and to hold those involved accountable when such activity occurs. To successfully accomplish this, the public first must be able to account for all of the existing entities statewide. If passed, this bill would make this first step a reality.