Bill removes bipartisan makeup of DABC, environment, finance boards

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SALT LAKE CITY — A House committee has approved a bill that would remove the political party affiliation for some boards and commissions.

In a 6-3 vote on Tuesday, the House Government Operations Committee voted in favor of House Bill 11, which would do away with a requirement that commission membership be portioned out by party. It came over the objection of Democrats, who said it would remove the bipartisan nature of some of the commissions and boards.

Some of the boards include the Utah Dept. of Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, the Water Quality Board, the Waste Management and Radiation Control Board, the Health Advisory Council and the Committee of Consumer Services.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Norm Thurston, R-Provo. Democrats on the House committee voted against it. So did Rep. Jeremy Peterson, R-Ogden. The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.