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Lawmakers May No Longer Be Warned Bills Are Unconstitutional

Utah lawmakers may no longer be warned that their bills might be unconstitutional.

A committee of House lawmakers on Monday approved a proposal that would no longer require the Legislature's attorneys to add the notes to bills that were unlikely to survive a legal challenge.

Rep. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, said Utah is the only state that has such a requirement and the legislature's attorneys essentially argue against their clients when writing the notes.

The notes aren't part of the official bill and don't always stop legislators from passing the measure.

The House Rules Committee approved the change. It must still pass votes before the full House and the Senate.

One high-profile bill that received an unconstitutional warning was a 2012 measure demanding that the federal government hand over millions of acres of public land it controlled. Lawmakers still approved it.