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Posted 09 Apr 2002   For week ended January 11, 2002
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 03Feb02
By Deborah Carl
Download to My Handheld!

LDS Church Weighs In on Utah Alcohol Laws

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Utah legislative leaders met with leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to discuss state and local issues. The routine pre-session luncheon was held right before Christmas with the church's Special Affairs Committee, made up of general authorities of the church and church employees. "Before every general session, leadership of both parties are invited down to meet with the church's Special Affairs Committee. We've done that for as long as I've been up here," said House Speaker Marty Stephens.

"The church leaders only brought up two issues themselves: alcohol and water rights. Some members of (legislative) leadership brought up some other issues, but since they weren't mine" Stephens said he doesn't want to discuss those. The church owns some water rights and leaders are concerned about the retroactive provision in the bill being considered. They also don't want to see any changes made in the current liquor laws.

House Minority Leader Ralph Becker, D-Salt Lake, said church leaders discussed the same things in a separate meeting with Democrats. "It was nothing new that I saw. They said it's not a time for liquor law changes. The (liquor) discussion lasted about a minute." More interesting to Becker was a statement made by Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a former Utah Supreme Court justice who now serves in the church's Quorum of the Twelve. "He said that there are always rumors going around (in the Legislature) that the church supports or opposes this or that issue. He said if the church has a position on a bill, we'll know about it, because they will talk directly to us publicly. If you hear another way about a church stand, don't believe it."

Becker also presented his concerns on budget cut backs, education and how churches may see more needy (church) members if the state has to cut back on Human Service programs because of falling tax revenues.


LDS officials talk with lawmakers
Deseret News 6Jan02 T4
By Bob Bernick Jr.: Deseret News political editor


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