Free ‘Pre-Legislative Bootcamp’ in St. George aims to demystify Utah’s lawmaking process

Presenters speak at a previous "Pre-Legislative Bootcamp" conference in Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Libertas Institute of Utah, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A group of political activists hoping to pull back the curtain on the Utah Legislature is holding a free event for Southern Utah residents this Saturday.

Libertas Institute’s Michael Melendez speaks at a “Pre-Legislative Bootcamp” evemt, St. George, Utah, Jan. 21, 2017 | File photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

The “Pre-Legislative Bootcamp” will be held at the St. George Library from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Speakers will explain how bills become law and share tips on how best to influence elected officials. Preregistration is required, and a free lunch will be served.

The event is hosted by Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political action group, and Libertas Institute of Utah, a libertarian lobbyist group that describes itself as nonpartisan.

“Our hope is to empower citizens to defend their liberties, to empower them to be involved in the process, and to see the important part they play in supporting and counseling their elected officials,” Joni Molloy, grassroots director of Americans for Prosperity Utah, said in an email to St. George News.

Organizers say attendees will learn “detailed, actionable information” to help them become effective advocates when speaking with legislators, the media and neighbors. The group will explain how to use online tools to track and understand legislation.

“If we are truly a Republic, the people are the boss,” Molloy said. “I want them to know the power and responsibility they hold.”

Former state Rep. Jon Stanard speaks at a “Pre-Legislative Bootcamp” event, St. George, Utah, Jan. 21, 2017 | File photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

In a previous Pre-Legislative Bootcamp held in Southern Utah, former Southern Utah Republican Rep. Jon Stanard said legislators get very few calls from everyday citizens commenting on bills, but those who do often make headway with lawmakers.

“Their voice carries a lot more weight than they think it does,” Stanard said.

Read more: ‘Pre-Legislative Bootcamp’ offers peek into inner workings of Utah Legislature

Saturday’s event will also serve as a preview of some of the policies that Libertas Institute and Americans for Prosperity plan to lobby for during the 2019 legislative session.

“Our major focus is going to be on tax reform and potential medicaid expansion fixes,” Molloy said. “We also have some occupational licensing reforms we will support to loosen up regulations and make it easier for people to work, as well as several criminal justice issues such as civil asset forfeiture.”

The 45-day Legislature begins Jan. 28. For those interested in getting a jump-start, some bills are already available for perusal on the Legislature website.

Event details

  • What: Pre-Legislative Bootcamp.
  • When: Saturday, Jan. 12, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Where: St. George Library, 88 W. 100 South, Community Room A.
  • Cost: Free and open to the public. Pre-registration required and can be completed online.

Resources

Email: jwitham@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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4 Comments

  • iceplant January 8, 2019 at 11:36 am

    “The event is hosted by Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political action group, and Libertas Institute of Utah, a libertarian lobbyist group that describes itself as nonpartisan.”

    The same Libertas that helped bring us the “compromise bill” instead of Prop 2. *facepalm*
    These yahoos aren’t doing anyone a favor. That curtain hiding the Utah legislature is merely hiding who’s really running the show. The Mormon church.

  • mesaman January 9, 2019 at 7:53 pm

    I trust you are not so stupid as to connect The Mormon Church (proper identification; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) with the libertarian movement, and further, the stance it takes in “running the show”; how measured, by whom, and who defined the term “running” to be measured.

    • Comment January 10, 2019 at 11:59 am

      The Mormon Church runs UT, m&m. You know it, and I know it.

  • beacon January 10, 2019 at 10:15 am

    If this event is run as it should be – with no political agenda but an educational event as it is promoted – then it should be a good opportunity for citizens to learn how our state’s legislative process works and how to effectively participate. One can only hope that will be the case.

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