Return to main Utah Constitution page.
Legislative action that proposed this amendment: SJR8 2000 General Session
Disposition: This amendment took effect following voter ratification. You may read the resulting 2001 Utah Constitution here.
Amends article 1 section 4 and article 4 section 9 and article 6 section 1,29 and article 11 section 1,2,4,5 and article 13 section 5,13 and article 14 section 3. Enacts article 11 section 7,8,9. Repeals article article 12 section 8 and article 14 section 8.
[Most provisions found here were proposed in SJR5 (1999), which received the required two-thirds vote in the Legislature and was scheduled to appear for ratification in the November 2000 general election. Before this vote could be held, the Legislature enacted SJR8 (2000), which revised SJR5 slightly and referred this updated proposal for voter ratification.]
[In addition to making substantive changes, this amendment also retitled Article XI from "Counties, Cities, and Towns" to "Local Government," apparently because this amendment added provisions for special districts.]
The rights of conscience shall never be infringed. The State shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office of public trust or for any vote at any election; nor shall any person be incompetent as a witness or juror on account of religious belief or the absence thereof. There shall be no union of Church and State, nor shall any church dominate the State or interfere with its functions. No public money or property shall be appropriated for or applied to any religious worship, exercise or instruction, or for the support of any ecclesiastical establishment.
(1) Each general election shall be held on the Tuesday next following the first Monday in November of each even-numbered year.
(2) Special elections may be held as provided by statute.
(3) The term of each officer, except legislator, elected at a general election shall commence on the first Monday in January next following the date of the election.
(4) The election of officers of each city, town, school district, and other political subdivision of the State shall be held at the time and in the manner provided by statute.
(1) The Legislative power of the State shall be vested in:
(a) a Senate and House of Representatives which shall be designated the Legislature of the State of Utah; and
(b) the people of the State of Utah as provided in Subsection (2).
(2) (a) (i) The legal voters of the State of Utah, in the numbers, under the conditions, in the manner, and within the time provided by statute, may:
(A) initiate any desired legislation and cause it to be submitted to the people for adoption upon a majority vote of those voting on the legislation, as provided by statute; or
(B) require any law passed by the Legislature, except those laws passed by a two-thirds vote of the members elected to each house of the Legislature, to be submitted to the voters of the State, as provided by statute, before the law may take effect.
(ii) Notwithstanding Subsection (2)(a)(i)(A), legislation initiated to allow, limit, or prohibit the taking of wildlife or the season for or method of taking wildlife shall be adopted upon approval of two-thirds of those voting.
(b) The legal voters of any county, city, or town, in the numbers, under the conditions, in the manner, and within the time provided by statute, may:
(i) initiate any desired legislation and cause it to be submitted to the people of the county, city, or town for adoption upon a majority vote of those voting on the legislation, as provided by statute; or
(ii) require any law or ordinance passed by the law making body of the county, city, or town to be submitted to the voters thereof, as provided by statute, before the law or ordinance may take effect.
The Legislature may not authorize the State, or any county, city, town, school district, or other political subdivision of the State to lend its credit or subscribe to stock or bonds in aid of any railroad, telegraph or other private individual or corporate enterprise or undertaking, except as provided in Article X, Section 5.
The counties of the State of Utah are recognized as legal subdivisions of this State. The counties now existing shall continue until changed as provided by statute.
A county seat may be moved only when at a countywide general election two-thirds of those voting on the proposition vote in favor of moving the county seat. A proposition to move the county seat may not be submitted in the same county more than once in four years.
The Legislature shall by statute provide for optional forms of county government. The selection of an optional form shall be subject to voter approval as provided by statute.
The Legislature may not create cities or towns by special laws.
The Legislature by statute shall provide for the incorporation, organization, and dissolution of cities and towns and for their classification in proportion to population. Any incorporated city or town may frame and adopt a charter for its own government in the following manner:
The legislative authority of the city may, by two-thirds vote of its members, and upon petition of qualified electors to the number of fifteen per cent of all votes cast at the next preceding election for the office of the mayor, shall forthwith provide by ordinance for the submission to the electors of the question: "Shall a commission be chosen to frame a charter?" The ordinance shall require that the question be submitted to the electors at the next regular municipal election. The ballot containing such question shall also contain the names of candidates for members of the proposed commission, but without party designation. Such candidates shall be nominated in the same manner as required by law for nomination of city officers. If a majority of the electors voting on the question of choosing a commission shall vote in the affirmative then the fifteen candidates receiving a majority of the votes cast at such election, shall constitute the charter commission, and shall proceed to frame a charter.
Any charter so framed shall be submitted to the qualified electors of the city at an election to be held at a time to be determined by the charter commission, which shall be not less than sixty days subsequent to its completion and distribution among the electors and not more than one year from such date. Alternative provisions may also be submitted to be voted upon separately. The commission shall make provisions for the distribution of copies of the proposed charter and of any alternative provisions to the qualified electors of the city, not less than sixty days before the election at which it is voted upon. Such proposed charter and such alternative provisions as are approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon, shall become an organic law of such city at such time as may be fixed therein, and shall supersede any existing charter and all laws affecting the organization and government of such city which are now in conflict therewith. Within thirty days after its approval a copy of such charter as adopted, certified by the mayor and city recorder and authenticated by the seal of such city, shall be made in duplicate and deposited, one in the office of the secretary of State and the other in the office of the city recorder, and thereafter all courts shall take judicial notice of such charter.
Amendments to any such charter may be framed and submitted by a charter commission in the same manner as provided for making of charters, or may be proposed by the legislative authority of the city upon a two-thirds vote thereof, or by petition of qualified electors to a number equal to fifteen per cent of the total votes cast for mayor on the next preceding election, and any such amendment may be submitted at the next regular municipal election, and having been approved by the majority of the electors voting thereon, shall become part of the charter at the time fixed in such amendment and shall be certified and filed as provided in case of charters.
Each city forming its charter under this section shall have, and is hereby granted, the authority to exercise all powers relating to municipal affairs, and to adopt and enforce within its limits, local police, sanitary and similar regulations not in conflict with the general law, and no enumeration of powers in this constitution or any law shall be deemed to limit or restrict the general grant of authority hereby conferred; but this grant of authority shall not include the power to regulate public utilities, not municipally owned, if any such regulation of public utilities is provided for by general law, nor be deemed to limit or restrict the power of the Legislature in matters relating to State affairs, to enact general laws applicable alike to all cities of the State.
The power to be conferred upon the cities by this section shall include the following:
(a) To levy, assess and collect taxes and borrow money, within the limits prescribed by general law, and to levy and collect special assessments for benefits conferred.
(b) To furnish all local public services, to purchase, hire, construct, own, maintain and operate, or lease, public utilities local in extent and use; to acquire by condemnation, or otherwise, within or without the corporate limits, property necessary for any such purposes, subject to restrictions imposed by general law for the protection of other communities; and to grant local public utility franchises and within its powers regulate the exercise thereof.
(c) To make local public improvements and to acquire by condemnation, or otherwise, property within its corporate limits necessary for such improvements; and also to acquire an excess over than [that] needed for any such improvement and to sell or lease such excess property with restrictions, in order to protect and preserve the improvement.
(d) To issue and sell bonds on the security of any such excess property, or of any public utility owned by the city, or of the revenues thereof, or both, including, in the case of public utility, a franchise stating the terms upon which, in case of foreclosure, the purchaser may operate such utility.
(1) The Legislature may by statute authorize:
(a) a county, city, or town to establish a special service district within all or any part of the county, city, or town, to be governed by the governing authority of the county, city, or town, and to provide services as provided by statute;
(b) a county, city, or town to levy taxes upon the taxable property in the special service district for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, equipping, operating, and maintaining facilities required for any or all of the services the special service district is authorized to provide; and
(c) a special service district to issue bonds of the special service district for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, and equipping any of the facilities required for any or all of the services the special service district is authorized to provide, without regard to the limitations of Article XIV, Sections 3 and 4, but subject to such limitation on the aggregate amount of the bonds outstanding at any one time as may be provided by statute.
(2) The authority to levy taxes upon the taxable property in a special service district and to issue bonds payable from taxes levied on the taxable property in the special service district shall be conditioned upon the assent of a majority of the qualified electors of the special service district voting in an election for this purpose to be held as provided by statute.
(3) A special service district created by a county may contain all or part of one or more cities or towns, but only with the consent of the governing authority of each city or town to be included in the special service district.
The Legislature may by statute provide for the establishment of political subdivisions of the State, or other governmental entities, in addition to counties, cities, towns, school districts, and special service districts, to provide services and facilities as provided by statute. Those other political subdivisions of the State or other governmental entities may exercise those powers and perform those functions that are provided by statute.
The Legislature may not grant the right to construct and operate a street, railroad, telegraph, telephone, or electric light plant within a city or town without the consent of the local authorities who have control of the street or highway proposed to be occupied for such purposes.
(1) The Legislature may not impose taxes for the purpose of any county, city, town, school district, or other political subdivision of the State, but may, by statute, vest in the governing bodies thereof, respectively, the power to assess and collect taxes for all purposes of such political subdivision.
(2) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Constitution, political subdivisions may share their tax and other revenues with other political subdivisions as provided by statute and the State may guarantee the debt of school districts and may guarantee debt incurred to refund the school district debt as provided in Article X, Section 5.
The proceeds from the imposition of any license tax, registration fee, driver education tax, or other charge related to the operation of any motor vehicle upon any public highway in this State, and the proceeds from the imposition of any excise tax on gasoline or other liquid motor fuels used for propelling such vehicle, except for statutory refunds and adjustments allowed thereunder and for costs of collection and administration, shall be used exclusively for highway purposes as follows:
(1) the construction, improvement, repair and maintenance of city streets, county roads, and State highways, including but not restricted to payment for property taken for or damaged by rights of way, and for administrative costs necessarily incurred for said purposes;
(2) the administration of a driver education program;
(3) the enforcement of State motor vehicle and traffic laws; and
(4) the payment of the principal of and interest on any obligation of the State or any city or county, issued for any of the highway purposes not set forth in Subsection (1), and to which any of the proceeds described in this section have been pledged, including any of such proceeds paid to the State or any city or county, as provided by statute.
No debt issued by a county, city, town, school district, or other political subdivision of the State and directly payable from and secured by ad valorem property taxes levied by the issuer of the debt may be created in excess of the taxes for the current year unless the proposition to create the debt has been submitted to a vote of qualified voters at the time and in the manner provided by statute, and a majority of those voting thereon has voted in favor of incurring the debt.