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Recorder bill fails to reach Senate floor

After passing with relative ease in the state House of Representatives, a bill to change the county recorder to an appointed role failed to reach state Senate floor before the legislature convened until next year on Monday.

Sen. Dan Sparks, who introduced the bill on behalf of the county, said the bill met opposition from people who were leery of the bill taking away the public’s option through a vote. The bill came at an inopportune time, as lawmakers spent much of the late session balancing the budget. Sparks also said some people were hesitant to change the job’s status so soon before an election.

“It was a timing factor,” Sparks said.

Different circumstances may not have been enough to pass the bill, as Sparks said there was considerable opposition to the loss of a vote.

However, County coordinator Craig Oscarson noted that every bill will have some level of opposition, and he said the bill passing in the house “seemed like no brainer” after passing in the House.

Oscarson said he was disappointed the bill didn’t at least reach a vote before the full Senate floor.

“If nothing happened, it’s purely politics at the state level,” Oscarson said.

Commissioner David Hillier said making the position appointed would give the county board more flexibility with the duties of the recorder. With a small department of 2.5 employees, Hillier said the county board would then have more options for additional training and duties for a recorder.

While the bill failed now, it appears the board will likely try to change the recorder’s status in the future.

“We’re very apt to try that again,” said Hillier.

However, Oscarson said the board may not make the change again until closer to an election.

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